Journalist says BBC treating women as 'enemy' over pay gap

AP News
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Posted: Jan 31, 2018 12:33 PM
Journalist says BBC treating women as 'enemy' over pay gap

LONDON (AP) — A senior BBC journalist who quit her post to protest the media company's gender pay gap argued Wednesday that management is hurting the corporation's credibility by failing to address the issue.

Carrie Gracie, the broadcaster's former China editor, testified before a British parliamentary committee that BBC managers have treated women who speak out about pay "as some sort of enemy."

Gracie said once confronted, the corporation tried to "throw money at me to resolve the problem."

"This will not resolve my problem," she said. "My problem will be resolved by an acknowledgement my work was of equal value to the men I served alongside."

Gracie resigned in early January after learning that male colleagues in similar jobs had much higher salaries. Gracie said she told the BBC: "I demand to be paid equally."

Tensions over pay flared last summer when the BBC released a list of top earners, which showed that many high-profile female employees earned far less than their male counterparts.

Gracie said management's failure to address the problem was "damaging the credibility of the BBC in a completely unacceptable way."

"We're not in the business of producing toothpaste or tires at the BBC," she said. "Our business is truth.

"If we're not prepared to look at ourselves honestly, how can we be trusted to look at anything else in reporting honestly?"

BBC Director-General Tony Hall, who was also questioned by the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, said the BBC did not discriminate based on gender. But he said there was "a difference between the scale and scope" of jobs that meant salaries varied.