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Carrie Gracie quits BBC News: what we can (and must) learn from her viral resignation video

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Kayleigh Dray
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Carrie Gracie

In one hell of a signoff, BBC News presenter Carrie Gracie has announced that she’s quit the broadcaster after 33 years.

It’s official: Carrie Gracie has taken resignation speeches to an entirely new level, and we are 100% here for it.

Taking to Twitter after her last broadcast, the BBC News presenter shared a video of herself (carefully) dropping a long-lead mic.

“So that was my last shift,” Gracie says in the clip, smiling at the camera. 

“Goodbye BBC, I’m out.”

The video, of course, is undeniably brilliant. However, it was the caption Gracie penned alongside it that really caught people’s attention on social media.

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Gracie, of course, was the BBC’s China Editor up until January 2018, when she stepped down after learning two male international editors were getting at least 50% more in pay than their two female counterparts.

The respected journalist penned an open letter condemning the BBC’s “secretive and illegal” pay culture, and later appeared in parliament for a hearing before the digital, culture, media and sport select committee.

Gracie won her dispute, donated all of her backpay to the Fawcett Society (aka the UK’s leading charity campaigning for gender equality and women’s rights), and paved the way for other BBC women to fight for their own equality in the workplace. 

And she made sure to remind people of that very important fact when she announced her resignation as BBC News presenter this week, too.

bbc gender pay gap carrie gracie highest paid stars 2018
Carrie Gracie donated all of her BBC back pay to the Fawcett Society’s Equal Pay Fund.

“After 33 years, [it’s] time to do something new,” Gracie wrote, before taking a moment to reflect on just a few of her proudest achievements.

“[I] told the China story, fought for a fair workplace, gave away the backpay I won, wrote the book,” she said.

“But most of all, [I’m] grateful to audiences and brilliant colleagues. THE BEST, I’ll miss you.”

People on social media, of course, loved Gracie’s signoff.

“Congratulations for everything you did, everything you achieved and how you did it,” wrote one.

“You were one of [the BBC’s] bright stars, and leave it a better place,” added another. “Good luck wherever you go next.”

And still one more wrote: “Your work in China was inspiring to watch. A real trailblazer.”

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It’s all too rare, of course, that we sit back and reflect upon the career moments we’re proudest of. And, when we leave a job, we tend to focus our goodbye speeches on those around us: the colleagues we worked with, the bosses who inspired us to push boundaries, the ‘work wives’ we grabbed lunch with, the friends we made in between meetings.

By reframing the resignation narrative, though, Gracie has reminded us that, in business especially, it’s up to us to big up our own accomplishments. After all, if you want to secure a pay rise or land that dream job, simply keeping your head down and hoping someone notices how brilliant you are is not a proactive strategy. 

Instead, you have to make your accomplishments as visible as possible. Because if you don’t blow your own trumpet, nobody else will.

Check out Stylist’s Big Yourself Up column, which explores all the ways in which women can boost their self-confidence, get better at self-promotion, and resist being sidelined in the workplace.

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Images: Rex Features/Getty

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.

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