Six male presenters at the BBC have agreed to take pay cuts after their colleague Carrie Gracie resigned her position as BBC China editor over pay inequality.
Huw Edwards, Nicky Campbell, John Humphrys, Jon Sopel, Nick Robinson and Jeremy Vine have all voluntarily taken pay cuts to show that they "support their female colleagues."
Sopel, the BBC's U.S. editor, earned the least of the six men, between £200,000-£249,999. Gracie, a 30-year veteran of the network, earned £135,000 a year. When a report last year revealed that two-thirds of those earning more than £150,000 at the network were male, Gracie penned a public letter criticizing her employer.
"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.
Gracie left her China post but returned to her former post in the TV newsroom, where she "expects to be paid equally."
The BBC defended its integrity, insisting there is "no systemic discrimination against women" at the network. But, Director General Lord Tony Hall said they intended to close the gap by 2020.
The network also applauded the six leading men for their decision to take pay cuts.
A BBC statement said: "We are very grateful to Huw Edwards, Nicky Campbell, John Humphrys, Jon Sopel, Nick Robinson and Jeremy Vine, who have agreed that their pay will now be reduced.
"These are great journalists and presenters, who have a real connection with the audience. We are proud to have them working at the BBC.
"The final details of some of these changes are still being discussed, and there are further conversations that the BBC will have with others in due course."
Social media users were skeptical that this move would empower women. How does hurting men's salary benefit their female colleauges?
What a joke that some #BBC men have taken a pay cut! It isn't their fault what they were paid. Maybe the BBC can just pay everyone equally in the first place.— Andy Burman (@Burmana2002) January 26, 2018