Carrie Gracie leaves the BBC after winning fight for equal pay

As Carrie Gracie leaves the BBC, we are reminded of how she won the battle for fairer pay, but not the war

After working for the organisation for 33 years, Carrie Gracie has resigned from the BBC. Almost fifty years on from the Equal Pay Act, Gracie’s fight for equal pay is a reminder that there are still challenges ahead in closing the gender pay gap.

Carrie Gracie made headlines in 2018 when the journalist resigned from her position as China Editor at the BBC due to an equal pay dispute. She brought the dispute forward after it was discovered that the male international editors were being paid more than her for the same work.

After winning the dispute and receiving back pay for the money she would have earned, she donated it to the Fawcett Society, an organisation dedicated to fighting for equal pay between genders. The Fawcett Society used the donation to set up a fund for women who need legal advice on their unequal pay claims.

Gracie’s win inspired other women across the BBC to come forward with their claims, including presenter Samira Ahmed. She won her case against the broadcaster after arguing that she should have been paid the same as colleague Jeremy Vine.

Gracie sent a tweet to Ahmed following her win: “I could not be more proud of you …and all the #bbcwomen at your back. 2020 is the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act and I hope your victory gives courage to women everywhere to stand up for the value of their work. As for #BBC bosses, time to stop digging.”

Carrie Gracie’s fight and legacy have also resonated with Neta Meidav, CEO & Co-Founder, Vault Platform, who said: “Carrie Gracie’s announcement that she is leaving the BBC reminds us of the brilliant work she has done for raising the profile of gender pay discrimination. Unfortunately, there is still a huge disconnect between what companies say and what is being done with regards to tackling discrimination.

“The World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2020 says men and women will not reach pay equality for 257 years. There’s also a real danger the clock might be set back on this issue due to the pandemic – we know that in times of crisis old biases re-emerge even in the face of evidence to the contrary. It’s almost like a ‘better the devil you know’ phenomenon. 

“In the world of diversity and inclusion, it is easy for employees to distinguish between changemakers and window dressers. With the recent examples of social uprising companies can no longer just hide behind words, real action needs to be taken and it needs to be taken today.”
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