Gracie surprised colleagues by announcing that she would quit her role as China editor last week, citing anger that male employees are more likely to earn more than their female counterparts, with two-thirds of its highest earning stars being male.
Despite this Gracie will remain in the employ of the BBC, where she has built her career over the past 30 years, in order to return to the UK news desk – albeit in the expectation that she will be ‘paid equally’.
Explaining her China exit Gracie wrote in a blog post: “I believe you have a right to know that it [the BBC is breaking equality law and resisting pressure for a fair and transparent pay structure.
“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.”
Gracie’s departure is the biggest ripple yet to emanate from a July disclosure by the BBC of all employees it pays in excess of £150k per year highlighted the gender and race imbalances within the media organisation – after coming under heavy duress to do so.
It is not known what Gracie’s current salary is, placing her below the key £150k threshold, ranking her well below the likes of US editor Jon Sopel who takes home between £200-£250k and Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen who makes between £150 and £200k.
In the face of civil war the BBC has pledged to author another report for on-air staff pay which it will publish in the ‘not too distant future’ having previously vowed to become an 'exemplar on gender and diversity'.