As the row over equal pay at the BBC continues, isn't it becoming clear the solution is to have a woman in charge?
Carrie Gracie proves the BBC would be better run by a woman. The former China editor for BBC News, who resigned from her post at the beginning of the year due to a row with her bosses over gender equal pay, headed to the House of Commons yesterday (Wednesday) to try and get MPs on board with the matter. She argued that the BBC was incapable of resolving its gender pay crisis on its own and needed external help.
She was accompanied by an impressive support club of fellow female BBC presenters, both past and present, including Kate Adie, Mariella Fostrup, Kate Silverton and Naga Munchetty. Her address to MPs came off the back of a PriceWaterhouseCooper report commissioned by the BBC into whether there was gender inequality over pay at the corporation.
The report claimed to find no evidence of gender inequality, much to the exasperation of BBC Women, a group that represents female journalists and producers. The group said it had not even been consulted by PwC and referred to even more concerning matters, such as women presenters receiving “veiled threats” against talking about equal pay on-air.
In Parliament, Ms Gracie said she was very angry about the way the BBC had treated some members of staff and it was in danger of people losing trust in the organisation as a result.
She continued: “If we are not prepared to look at ourselves honestly, how can we be trusted to look at anything else honestly. We are not living our values. It makes me very angry, it makes me disappointed, it makes me desperately anxious about the future of the BBC.”
Director General Tony Hall has said the BBC will be taking steps towards modernisation and making it fairer. The BBC aims to close the gender pay gap and have women in half of its on-air roles by 2020, he added.
If that is the case, there is a long way to go. In 2017's top ten highest paid presenters list, Claudia Winkleman was the first woman to feature, at number eight. Her salary was £450,000 last year compared to Chris Evans, the top paid man, receiving £2.2million.
Several highly paid male BBC employees have willingly received pay cuts this week including Jeremy Vine, John Humphries and Alistair Campbell. But Ms Gracie and a number of her fellow female presenters have said this is not about men's pay being reduced, or even women receiving pay rises. It is about equality of pay across the board.
Ms Gracie continued that Mr Hall's actions did not go far enough. She said: “I have told him you have to show courage, you have to show leadership, you have to be brave on this issue. We are still waiting.”
I'll tell you who has demonstrated all these qualities, and that's Ms Gracie herself. Carrie Gracie for Director General of the BBC anyone? Then we'd see true gender equality.