BBC pay gap: British human rights commission gets involved

Carrie Gracie

In an open letter, Ms Gracie - who has been at the BBC for more than 30 years - accused the corporation of having a "secretive and illegal pay culture".

However, despite more than 130 female employees signing a statement expressing their support for Gracie and calling for action on pay equality, their attempts to present on-air segments about the dispute were blocked by the BBC.

She concluded her letter by standing up for other women who are dealing with pay issues in the industry, writing, "I wish you the solidarity of a strong sisterhood and the support of male colleagues".

After 30-year veteran Gracie revealed in an open letter on her website that she did not trust BBC management to deal with gender inequality, after a proposed pay increase left her still well behind the company's male worldwide editors, she received support on social media from many of her colleagues, including Today presenter Mishal Husain and Newsnight host Evan Davis, with many using the hashtag #istandwithcarrie.

Using the hashtag #IStandWithCarrie, many took to Twitter to show their support for the journalist.

However, the consequences of not responding to the concerns of Gracie and other women at the BBC look increasingly serious in light of her letter.

A BBC spokesman said "fairness in pay is vital".

Gracie said she learned that two of the BBC's four global editors - both men - made at least 50 percent more than their two female counterparts.

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"I am not asking for more money".

"This is not the gender pay gap that the BBC admits to".

It was revealed that the highest-paid man at the BBC was Radio 2 presenter Chris Evans on more than £2million a year, while the best-paid woman, Strictly's Claudia Winkleman, got between £450,000 and £499,999.

They added: "A significant number of organisations have now published their gender pay figures showing that we are performing considerably better than many and are well below the national average".

Rather than waste money on an "unwinnable court fight against female staff, the BBC should immediately agree to independent arbitration to settle individual cases", she wrote.

The list published a year ago 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. Her proposed new salary of £180,000 is still far less than the £200,000 to £249,999 paid to Jon Sopel, the BBC's North America editor.

"Despite the BBC's public insistence that my appointment demonstrated its commitment to gender equality, and despite my own insistence that equality was a condition of taking up the post, my managers had yet again judged that women's work was worth much less than men's", she wrote.

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