Monday, 25 June, 2018

British human rights commission gets involved — BBC pay gap

BBC China Editor Carrie Gracie Quits Job Over Broadcaster Paying Men More Than Women For Same Job Top BBC journalist quits over 'secretive and illegal pay culture'
Cristina Norman | 10 January, 2018, 02:15

The watchdog said it was aware of Ms Gracie's claims and would write to the BBC, "requiring them to provide us with information on their pay policy and the facts in this individual case".

She cited male worldwide editors earning more than her AU$233,185-a-year salary (£135,000). She also said that she would return to the television newsroom in London "where I expect to be paid equally".

Her open letter added: "I am not asking for more money".

The BBC has come under fire recently for paying male employees more and has pledged to close the gender gap by 2020.

He highlighted the broadcaster's independent judge-led pay audit for "rank-and-file" staff which showed "no systemic discrimination against women" and said a separate report for on-air staff would be published "in the not too distant future".

In the pay disclosure a year ago, North America editor Jon Sopel was listed as having a salary of between £200,000 and £249,999, while Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen earned between £150,000 and £199,999.

In response to the pay-gap debacle, the BBC has reportedly banned any reporters who have tweeted about the Gracie issue from presenting news stories on the subject. The Equality Act 2010 states that men and women doing equal work must receive equal pay.

Gracie, as the BBC ought to realise but doesn't, is doing them the service of treating them with just the kind of integrity and forensic reporting skills that she brings to her journalism.

Carrie Gracie, who had been working for BBC for 30 years, quit her position as China Editor to protest pay inequality within the company.

Almost 200 women have lodged grievances against the BBC over pay since last summer's pay disclosure.

Senior sources said bosses were hopeful they could persuade Miss Gracie, who lived 5,000 miles from her teenage children while in Beijing, to remain China editor.

"They say that this is to "preserve their impartiality" but of course that's now aroused fury and one Labour MP, Jess Phillips, said this is akin to saying "why don't all the little women shut up". Instead, they prevaricate and procrastinate, offer her a pay rise that still would not have delivered parity, and repeatedly fail to believe her warnings that she would resign if they did not treat her complaint seriously.

The list published previous year showed that two-thirds of the BBC's highest earners were men, with the highest-paid woman earning less than a quarter of the highest-earning male star.

Theresa May's official spokesman said the Prime Minister "has been very clear that tackling injustices like the gender pay gap is part of her determination to build a country that works for everyone". Numerous women affected are not highly paid "stars" but hard-working producers on modest salaries.

A senior global journalist at the BBC's quit her job over the network's pay equity scandal.

"It is a century since women first won the right to vote in Britain".

"During that time the gender pay gap has reduced, but it has not reduced enough. Let us honour that courageous generation by making this the year we win equal pay".

An insider said: 'This whole thing about equal pay for equal jobs is really hard because we don't work in a toothpaste factory'.

But in the meantime, we'll have to rely on strong women like Carrie Gracie to keep the spotlight on the issue.

A BBC spokesperson had defended the BBC's pay structure, stating that the national broadcaster performs "considerably better than many and are well below the national average".

The Twitterverse was quick to point out the irony of the situation.

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