07/01/2018 23:18 GMT | Updated 08/01/2018 10:36 GMT

Carrie Gracie: Women BBC Stars Stand In Solidarity With Top Journalist After Resignation Over Gender Pay Gap

But how many male colleagues will join?

Journalist Carrie Gracie has earned huge praise from her female BBC colleagues after she resigned as the BBC’s China editor in protest at the corporation paying men more than women for doing the same job.

Gracie, who will move to the BBC’s newsroom after claiming she was paid significantly less than fellow international editors who are male, said the broadcaster was facing “a crisis of trust” and accused it of “breaking equality law”.

An open letter, detailing her concerns over the “secretive” gender pay structure at the corporation, has been published on her website, where she reveals men doing the same job were paid 50% more than her.

Gracie, who has worked for the BBC for 30 years, made clear her protest was in support of the “brilliant young women” she works with.

“I don’t want their generation to have to fight this battle in the future because my generation failed to win it now,” she wrote. 

As #istandwithcarrie started trending after news broke, The Times reported more than 130 women working for the BBC had signed a statement of support in solidarity with Gracie.

Among those signalling her backing on social media was Clare Balding, one of the BBC’s best paid female broadcasters. It has been revealed Gary Lineker, another sports broadcaster, is on around 10 times more than Balding.

Balding wrote: “This is a letter to everyone who loves and values the BBC from one of its finest journalists. @BBCCarrie has resigned as China editor. Please read and retweet. It’s time for #equalpay.”

A wave of well-known female BBC broadcasters chimed in too. 

Some questioned why BBC male stars were slower to come forward to show support if they showed support publicly at all.

While male BBC journalists spoke out against unequal pay after Gracie’s attack, it was notable that some of the corporations best-paid stars had yet to comment.

Figures published by the BBC last year showed:

Sports presenter Gary Lineker was paid at least £1.75m last year - with the highest earning female sports presenter, Sue Barker paid, at most, £349,999. Gabby Logan was paid, at most, £249,999.

The top four male presenters across the BBC were collectively paid almost four times the total amount of the top four female presenters.

The highest paid male BBC star was Chris Evans, who took home pay of at least £2.24m in 2016.

He was joined by Lineker (at least £1.75m), Graham Norton (£850,000), and Jeremy Vine (£700,000).

Meanwhile, the top female earners were ‘Strictly’ host Claudia Winkleman (at most £499,999), the ‘One Show’s’ Alex Jones (at most £449,999), Fiona Bruce and Tess Daly (both at most £399,999).

One Show’ presenter Alex Jones was paid at most £449,999, while the same figure for her male colleague Matt Baker was £499,999.

Laura Kuenssberg, the BBC’s political editor, earned less than her predecessor, Nick Robinson, who now presents Radio 4′s flagship ‘Today’ programme.

Kuenssberg earned at minimum, £200,000 last year, while Robinson, a BBC veteran, earned a maximum of £299,999 - a difference of at least 25%.

None of the men above had yet to comment after Gracie’s letter was published.