04:07 GMT +322 October 2019
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    Carrie Gracie at the BBC World Service

    'Absurd': Twitter Ablaze as Top UK Journalist Quits BBC in Gender Pay Row

    CC BY 2.0 / Joi Ito / Annette Mackenzie and Carrie Gracie at the BBC World Service
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    In a letter posted on her personal website on Sunday, high-profile BBC China editor and correspondent Carrie Gracie announced she is quitting her job after 30 years in the company, due to "a crisis of trust at the BBC."

    Gracie criticized the British broadcaster for categorically paying its male employees higher salaries and its lackluster efforts to eradicate the gender pay gap.

     "The BBC belongs to you, the license fee payer. I believe you have a right to know that it is breaking equality law and resisting pressure for a fair and transparent pay structure,” she said. "On pay, the BBC is not living up to its stated values of trust, honesty and accountability," Gracie wrote.

    Gracie continued by saying that despite earlier promises to level out the still-unequal pay of men and women, she discovered that among the organization's four international editors — two male, two female — her male colleagues in the same position earned "at least 50% more than the two women."

    She said the most vulnerable category, however, is women from ethnic minorities, which caused many to laud the conclusion.

    "Many of the women affected are not highly paid 'stars' but hard-working producers on modest salaries. Often women from ethnic minorities suffer wider pay gaps than the rest," Gracie wrote.

    Gracie pinned hopes on her sincere outcry to prompt real action, so that her female contemporaries would not have to stand up for themselves in the future:

    "The BBC must admit the problem, apologize and set in place an equal, fair and transparent pay structure,” she said.  “I am not asking for more money. I believe I am very well paid already – especially as someone working for a publicly funded organization. I simply want the BBC to abide by the law and value men and women equally."

    The news has come as a shock on Twitter and Facebook, prompting many to verbally "double" praise the famed editor – firstly, for her renowned China stories, and secondly, for the bold move she made in the pay equality struggle. Most of the internet community dubbed it "absolutely absurd", as the truly talented journalist gets severely underpaid:

    Many expressed their utmost surprise at the news, recollecting the efforts of the suffragettes in the 1910s, who won British women the right to vote. The pay equality struggle followed shortly, and it has still born no fruit, they pointed out.

    There are very many male voices in Gracie’s favor, calling to join in the media struggle under the now viral hashtag #istandwithcarrie.

    And this couldn’t come unnoticed by female netizens:

    For now, Carrie Gracie, broadly viewed as one of the BBC’s biggest talents, is scheduled to be a co-presenter of the Today program on Radio 4 on Monday morning. Gracie said she is also considering returning to her previous post in the BBC newsroom "where I expect to be paid equally."

    READ MORE: Russian Embassy Slams BBC Over Use of 'Russian Gangster' Cliché in New Series

    The gender pay row at the BBC erupted last summer when it published a list of its highest-paid on-air stars, which revealed that just a third were women and the top seven were all men. In October, the BBC confirmed that men earned on average 9 percent more for equal work.

    In a heated open letter to Director General Tony Hall, dozens of the broadcaster's female stars demanded a more plausible plan to resolve the pay row, saying the BBC’s promise to "sort" the issue by 2020 did not suffice.

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    pay gap, female, pay raise, journalism, BBC News, BBC, China, Britain
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