Iceland made the news recently in regard to a law that just passed that requires companies to prove that they are paying women and men equally for the same work. The pay gap is no stranger to the news these days as stories break constantly regarding unequal pay. Journalist Carrie Gracie became the latest headline concerning the pay gap when she quit her job as China editor for the BBC to protest unequal pay, reported The Guardian. Gracie, who worked as a BBC journalist for three decades, decided she could no longer be linked with the BBC, citing the BBC's failure to pay women and men equal salaries for the same work.
In July 2017, the BBC released the salaries of its top earners and The Guardian reported that viewers were not happy to learn that the highest paid female star earned just a fifth of what the highest paid male star made. Gracie published an open letter on Sunday night in which she responded to the pay gap report, referring to it as “pay discrimination” and “ illegal.”
She said on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour Monday morning,“I could not go back to China and collude knowingly in what I consider to be unlawful pay discrimination. Nor could I stay silent and watch the BBC perpetuate a failing pay structure by discriminating against women.”
Gracie told her readers in her open letter that she does not want more money from the BBC. Instead, she said, “The BBC must admit the problem, apologise and set in place an equal, fair and transparent pay structure. To avoid wasting your licence fee on an unwinnable court fight against female staff, the BBC should immediately agree to independent arbitration to settle individual cases.”
Other reporters and writers from BBC have responded positively to Gracie’s move. #BBCwomen shared this tweet in support of Gracie:
Others have supported her decision by tweeting the hashtag #IStandWithCarrie.
It is about time people in powerful and influential positions like Gracie act radically so that others can benefit. Hopefully, her decision will speed up the BBC’s pledge for equal pay by 2020.
Top Photo via carriegracie.com
Bottom photo via Twitter/@charlottebsmith
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Gianna Folz is a BUST intern, writer, reluctant runner, and occasional tweeter when angry about something. Follow and connect @gianna_folz