Earlier this month, the BBC’s China editor, Carrie Gracie, a 30-year veteran of the network, abruptly resigned her job in the Beijing bureau, accusing the network of promulgating a gender pay gap.
The BBC response? There is “no systemic discrimination against women” at the network.
There’s been some movement on the issue since then. On Friday, the network announced that four of the BBC’s leading male hosts have agreed to pay cuts.
NPR’s Frank Langfitt reports for our Newscast unit:
“Nicky Campbell, Jeremy Vine, John Humphrys and Huw Edwards — all household names in the United Kingdom — have agreed to pay cuts formally or in principle, according to the BBC.
Last July, the BBC revealed the salaries of all employees earning more than $200,000 a year.
Two thirds were men, sparking an outcry.
“Humphrys, who earns more than $850,000 a year, did not help himself this month when he was caught on a leaked tape boasting about the size of his salary and mocking Gracie’s complaint.”
“We’ve already set out a range of action we’re taking on fair pay, and we’ll have more to say on the issue next week,” the network said in a statement after the announcement of the pay cuts.
An independent audit into equal pay at the BBC will be published next week.
Gracie stepped down as China editor, but she is returning to her former post in the television newsroom in London “where I expect to be paid equally,” she wrote in an open letter published in her blog.
“In thirty years at the BBC, I have never sought to make myself the story and never publicly criticised the organisation I love. I am not asking for more money. I believe I am very well paid already — especially as someone working for a publicly funded organisation. I simply want the BBC to abide by the law and value men and women equally.”
The BBC released the salary figures for hosts in July because it had to. In the past, it had included only executive salaries in its annual report. But this year, the British government required the public broadcaster to also reveal the salaries of the highest-paid presenters and actors.