The BBC has reached an agreement with its former China editor, Carrie Gracie, who quit in January over unequal pay.
Gracie left her role as editor of the corporation’s Beijing bureau, a role she described as “the greatest privilege of my career”.
On Friday she announced she would donate a backdated pay settlement to the Fawcett Society, which lobbies for gender equality. The charity said her contribution would help fund other women facing similar battles at work.
“When my case became news, women wrote to me from all over the country to recount horror stories about unequal pay and the difficulties they faced in trying to put it right,” Gracie said.
“My own experience has taught me how lonely and challenging this can be. I am relieved my own battle is over. Now I want my back pay to help other women win equality at work, especially women who lack the personal funds, union support or public profile to get access to legal assistance.”
In a statement, the BBC admitted Gracie was told she would be paid in line with other senior journalists, including its North American editor, when she took up her role.
“She accepted the role on that understanding,” the broadcaster said.
“The BBC is committed to the principle of equal pay and acting in accordance with our values.
“The BBC acknowledges the specific circumstances relating to Carrie’s appointment, apologises for underpaying Carrie, and has now put this right.”
Gracie blasted the Beeb in January for having a “secretive and illegal pay culture” in a damning open letter.
She made the stand after it was revealed two-thirds of BBC stars earning more than £150,000 were male.
Gracie said on Friday: “I am glad to have been able to resolve this with the Director-General – it shows that we can make progress.
“I’m also pleased that my work as China editor has now been properly recognised by the BBC and relieved that this difficult period is over. For me, this was always about the principle, rather than the money. I’m delighted to donate all the backdated pay from the BBC to help women striving for equality at work.”
Director-General Lord Hall said: “I am pleased that we’ve been able to move past our differences and work through things together; we can now look to the future.
“I’m also glad that Carrie will be contributing to Donalda MacKinnon’s project to make the BBC a great place for women to work. That really matters to me, and I want us to lead the way.”
The statement from the BBC continued: “At her request, Carrie will now take up to six months of unpaid leave to write and speak, on both China and gender equality.
“Neither she nor the BBC wish to comment on this further.”