The BBC's top journalist in China, Carrie Gracie, has left her position following a gender pay row and accused the corporation of having a "secretive and illegal pay culture". Gracie said that the dispute has been raging since last summer, when she discovered that two similarly positioned, male, global editors - thought to be U.S editor Jon Sopel and Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen - were paid more than her and a female colleague.
The news that women in the BBC are going through formal internal grievance procedures is significant because it is widely regarded as an essential precursor to employees launching legal proceedings.
In her letter, Gracie wrote: "The Equality Act 2010 states that men and women doing equal work must receive equal pay".
Gracie, who has been at the BBC for more than 30 years, wrote an open letter saying the Corporation was facing a "crisis of trust" after it revealed two-thirds of its stars earning more than £150,000 were male.
Carrie Gracie's departure is the latest aftershock from the BBC's forced publication past year of pay levels for its top earners that showed two-thirds of those in the top bracket were men.
Director general Lord Hall pledged to close the gap by 2020, saying the corporation should be "an exemplar of what can be achieved when it comes to pay, fairness, gender and representation". It would be the BBC leading the outrage.
The China specialist, who is fluent in Mandarin, left her role as editor of the Beijing bureau last week, but will remain with the BBC, returning to her former post in the TV newsroom "where I expect to be paid equally".
Since then there has been increasing discontent at how the BBC has dealt with the backlash.
"Alongside that, we have already conducted an independent judge-led audit of pay for rank and file staff which showed "no systemic discrimination against women".
However, this review did not include the vast majority of on-air presenters, editors and senior managers.
"To avoid wasting your license fee on an unwinnable court fight against female staff", she added, "the BBC should immediately agree to independent arbitration to settle individual cases". This arbitration, for example, could conclude whether the China and North America editors should be paid the same and make similar calls elsewhere.
Gracie's move received voluble praise online from her colleagues, with veteran BBC journalist Lyse Doucet tweeting, "Brilliant Brave".
But it is clear that the corporation has not done enough to quell the anger of women, and men, across the corporation.
United Kingdom correspondent Rod Liddle told Tim Dower the BBC's dug a deeper hole.by banning their employees from talking about the issue on air, if they've already publicly supported Ms Gracie.