The BBC pay row signifies a much deeper problem: an economy that operates on gender and race disparitiesby Maya Goodfellow / January 8, 2018 / Leave a comment
A new year brings with it the same old problems: Carrie Gracie’s public resignation as the BBC’s China editor has reignited the conversation around equal pay and the gender pay gap.
While these voices could somewhat sidetrack the debate—and the strange situation of Carrie being the subject of a new story while also presenting BBC 4’s flagship political programme, Today, prompted bemused discussion—one particular message in her statement shouldn’t be overlooked.
“Many of the women affected are not highly paid ‘stars,’” Gracie wrote, “but hard-working producers on modest salaries. Often women from ethnic minorities suffer wider pay gaps than the rest.” This is no revelation to women, and in particular women of colour—but one that is consistently disregarded. (Over two hundred women at the BBC have made pay complaints.)
The BBC pay scandal hit the headlines last year when it emerged men working for the broadcaster earned an average of 9.3 per cent more than women. A list of how much “top stars” were paid surfaced, including a rundown of the most highly paid people at the BBC where you had to get through seven men before a woman’s name appeared.
The argument rapidly split into two lanes. One was dominated by arch-sceptics o…