The Society of Editors has thrown its weight behind the call for serious debate and transparency on the issue of equal pay in the media.
The topic has been thrown into stark relief by the resignation of high-profile broadcast journalist Carrie Gracie who stepped down from her post as China Editor for the BBC in protest over inequality in pay levels between male and female staff at the corporation.
In her resignation statement, issued in the form of an open letter to licence fee payers, Gracie outlined her frustration at what she claims has been a lack of transparency and trust at the BBC over the issue of equal pay.
Gracie’s resignation has pushed the topic of equal pay back to the top of the news agenda at a time when equality and diversity have become issues of paramount importance to the public.
“It is essential that in all parts of the media the issue of equal pay and diversity is not just seen to be addressed but real commitment is being made to tackle these challenges once and for all,” commented Society of Editors Executive Director Ian Murray.
“The industry cannot fail to recognise that it cannot hope to address matters of inequality elsewhere if it is not capable of putting its own house in order, and be seen to do so.
“The Society takes these matters very seriously and urges all media organisations to join the debate and ensure they are adhering to the highest standards of equality in all areas of performance.”
The Society’s President, Ian MacGregor, Emeritus Editor at the Telegraph, will be taking part in a debate organised by the London Press Club in association with the Society of Editors next month to address the issue of opportunities for women in journalism.
The debate will be chaired by columnist and broadcaster Anne McElvoy is being held in association with the Society of Editors, Women in Journalism and the Stationers & Newspapermakers livery company.
“Let 2018 be the year that we finally sort out equal pay” said Ian MacGregor , President of the Society of Editors.
“There is absolutely no justification in paying women less than men. Now is the time to end discrimination.”
“Do women journalists get equal opportunities and pay?” will be held at Stationers’ Hall, central London on Monday, February 19 and will include a Q&A with the audience, followed by drinks and networking. The event is being sponsored by Cision.
On the panel will be: Miriam Gonzalez (Inspiring Girls founder and lawyer), Sue Ryan (head of training for Mail publishing group and committee member of Women in Journalism); Charlotte Ross (deputy editor London Evening Standard), Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff (deputy editor at gal-dem, weekend editor at Dazed and Confused Magazine and columnist), and Ian Macgregor (Society of Editor’s president and Editor Emeritus of the Telegraph group.
Entry will be by reservations only. Members of London Press Club and Society of Editors will be free. To reserve your space, go to https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/women-and-journalism-tickets-41817239489