Former China editor calls time on career in which she ‘fought for a fairer workplace’
Carrie Gracie, the woman whose resignation as China editor sparked the BBC’s gender pay crisis, has left the corporation after 33 years.
In a Twitter post last night at the conclusion of her final BBC News shift, Gracie said she is proud of “telling the China story, fighting for a fairer workplace and giving away the back-pay I won”.
She thanked her “audiences and brilliant colleagues” before jokingly ‘dropping the mic’.
The BBC News team described her as a “distinguished journalist who’s made a hugely important contribution to the BBC over the last three decades”.
Arguably Gracie’s greatest contribution was to blow the lid open on the BBC’s historical issues with gender pay, an issue that may go down as one of departing director general Tony Hall’s defining legacies.
In January 2018, Gracie publicly resigned from her China editor post after finding out she was paid less than her male counterparts – US editor Jon Sopel and Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen.
She remained with the BBC as a news reporter but didn’t continue the China role, having revealed she was initially told she would be paid the same as Sopel and Bowen.
Her move caused more than 200 women to file complaints over equal pay, some of which are still being resolved.
Hall insisted the pay disparity issue was “not a matter of gender” but, six months on, the BBC agreed to back-date Gracie’s pay to bring it into line with that of male colleagues, which she donated to the Fawcett Society to improve gender equality.
Since then, she has written a book entitled Equal – How We Fix The Gender Pay Gap, and supported colleagues Samira Ahmed and Naga Munchetty in similar disputes with the corporation.
She most recently backed calls from black staff members to have the BBC apologise over its use of the ‘n-word’, sending a letter of protest to director of news Fran Unsworth and Hall’s soon-to-be-successor Tim Davie and tweeting: “I do not forgive the ordeal inflicted on my colleagues and I will not forget.”
#BBC my last day on air. After 33 years, time to do something new. Proud of a few things: told the China story, fought for a fair workplace, gave away the back pay I won, wrote the book. But most of all grateful to audiences and brilliant colleagues. THE BEST. I’ll miss you. X pic.twitter.com/Q5wsU58Xbj— Carrie Gracie (@BBCCarrie) August 25, 2020