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The chief executives of the top FTSE 100 companies in the UK – that is, the companies with the highest market capitalisation on the London Stock Exchange – have each been sent a book on equal pay written by Carrie Gracie, the BBC journalist who quit her post after discovering that male colleagues in similar roles were being paid far more.
Equal: A Story of women, men and money is published by the UK’s Virago and is described as an “inspiring, personal and campaigning book” by the BBC journalist who went public with the dispute in January 2018. Gracie resigned her post and wrote an open letter to the BBC in which she said: ‘On pay, the BBC is not living up to its stated values of trust, honesty and accountability. Salary disclosures the BBC was forced to make six months ago revealed not only unacceptably high pay for top presenters and managers but also an indefensible pay gap between men and women doing equal work. These revelations damaged the trust of BBC staff. For the first time, women saw hard evidence of what they’d long suspected, that they are not being valued equally.’
Ailah Ahmed, editorial director at Virago and Little, Brown/Abacus, said: “Equal is an important manifesto on how women, men and employers can work towards a business culture that supports equal pay. Carrie leads by example, showing readers what they should do if they find themselves in the position of having to question the boss. It’s about big structural issues and so we urge every CEO on the FTSE 100 to pick up a copy, engage with the book and risk-proof their businesses for the future.”
Virago publisher Sarah Savitt acquired UK and Commonwealth rights in the book, which has been longlisted for the Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award, from Rebecca Carter at Janklow & Nesbit UK.
Gracie said: “This is about both fairness and economic efficiency. I have sympathy for employers who would like to do better and men who would like to support female colleagues but don’t know where to start. Start here. I wrote this book for you.”