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'Itresonates deeply with me': readers on Carrie Gracie's BBC pay protest
The journalisthas received scores of supportive messages after quitting as China editor overunequal pay. We asked readers to share their views


The BBC’s Carrie Gracie resigned as China editor with an open letter tolicence fee payers that described a “crisis of trust”at the corporation over men being paid more than women.


The veteran journalist has received scores of supportive messages from astring of prominent broadcasters and politicians. She told the BBC Radio 4’sToday programme, on which she is also a presenter, how much she had been movedby the backing she’d received.


Interviewed by her co-presenter John Humphrys, whose £600,000-plus paypacket is at least four times more than hers, Gracie said: “The support thatI’ve had in the last few hours over this … does speak to the depth of hungerfor an equal, fair and transparent pay system.”


She added: “What is lovely for me is that people are mentioning my Chinawork, because I would not wish to be remembered for ever as the woman whocomplained about money.”


We asked people to respond to the news, and share their experiences andthoughts on equal pay in their industry.


‘People who need a voice are those in lowerpaid roles’


Her gesture would have made more impact if she had made a stand for allthe women who work for the BBC in low-paid roles and just about earn theminimum wage for doing some of the worst jobs like cleaning toilets. These arethe women who, in my opinion, need a championing.


I worked for a long time in construction, sometimes being paid equally tomale colleagues and sometimes not, but well paid, comparatively. I stronglybelieve that the people who need a voice are those in lower paid roles,particularly women.


I think the focus should be on people receiving a decent wage, enough tobring a family up on. Not quite earning £600,000 is not the concern of thecommon person, hers is the concern of an elite few.


Vicky, 48, Manchester, postgraduate student


‘Not many people would do what she hasdone’


As a licence payer, I do not expect the BBC to discriminateagainst talented women like Carrie Gracie. Nor do I want to pay for defendingthese illegal practices – and losing. Let’s let the HR department of the BBC paythose from their salaries.


I have worked for a publicly owned organisation too – it had the worstdiscrimination I have known. Heads should roll for the blatant disregard ofemployment law at the BBC.


Newly qualified as a lawyer in the 1970s, I always got paid less than themen, asked to make the tea and was assumed in meetings to be a secretary. I wasappointed along with a man doing a parallel equal job. He got a car, mediatraining and much bigger salary than me. I fought to get the car and finallyappealed to the chairman who agreed with me about the discrimination but wenever had equal terms of employment or pay. They purported to have a “payscale” but of course I never started at the same point as the men. Easy todiscriminate. No transparency. I was never accorded the same status as the mendoing the same job. Nowadays, so many lawyers are women it has changed Ibelieve.


Carrie Gracie only found out the iniquity of her situation when shelearned of the other international editors’ pay. Protection from harassmentwhen making a complaint would be a start.


She’s fantastic. Very brave and deserves all of our support. Not manypeople would do what she has done.


Katherine, 65, retired lawyer


‘We need more bright and brilliant womencoming together and speaking out’


I’m a former BBC employee who has also worked at the BBC around the timeof the infamous stars salary scandal back in summer 2017. The BBC has beenrunning from this growing scandal for years, doing very little while pretendingit’s doing a lot.


I think it’s a colossal shame and a shambles that the BBC have not onlylost a brilliant editor with decades of experience, they’ve also done sothrough their own utter incompetence in realising that it is precisely the BBCthat we look on to lead the standard; the standard in this instance is byoffering equal pay for equal work.


Had Carrie been offered the same rate of pay as Jon Sopel,the BBC’s brilliant North American editor - currently between £200,000-249,999- when she first asked for a pay rise, I’m sure she would have accepted theoffer and this would never have come to light. The BBC is part of a marketplaceand presenters and producers alike should be rewarded appropriately, orotherwise risk being poached by rivals. But she wasn’t given the opportunity.Only a 30% pay rise.


While my own experiences of unequal pay are somewhat limited owing to howmany rings I am up the media ladder, it is not difficult to believe that payinequality is still a huge issue at the BBC. Take the #BBCwomen forexample. More than 100 top flight producers, presenters and editors have feltthe need to come together to combat pay inequality because the institution theywork for isn’t picking up the slack. This is telling and a clearsign that there is far more to be done in balancing the scales.


We need more women in senior roles. More pay transparency. Pay parity forthe same jobs across both genders. We need more bright and brilliant womencoming together and speaking out when faced with pay inequality and genderdiscrimination , not just across broadcast and media but film and televisiontoo.


Ben, 27, Southampton, production


‘It is galling that women still have tostruggle so hard to be paid the same’


It resonates deeply with me having personally gone through somethingsimilar at work. It is galling that women still have to struggle so hard to bepaid the same to do equal work. She is brave to do what she did and for makingit public to highlight this issue. Most women aren’t able to do the same.


I found out a male colleague with less experience and who, mostimportantly, brought in less revenue than me, was paid more than I was. When Ibrought this up to my boss, he challenged me instead as pay is a veryconfidential matter in a bank. I believe they do this about pay and bonus sothat we don’t compare our pay. I found out by accident when he left hisinsurance information on his desk in the open. Eventually my manager said hewas paid more because he negotiated better than me, making me look the fool.


I couldn’t leave my job at that time but I left last summer after hewanted me to take on more managerial work but not promote me or increase mypay. Banking is still a very sexist industry. We need transparent pay scale aswhat the BBC was forced to do. Make management compensation be tied to how they manage genderequality in the work place. Change the inherent sexistculture of banking.
Anonymous, 40, former global markets salesperson