The BBC’s former China editor Carrie Gracie – who lifted the lid on the gender pay problems at the British public broadcaster – has finally reached an agreement with the corporation.

The BBC acknowledged that it underpaid Gracie, who had initially been told that she would be paid in line with the North America editor, and has reached a financial settlement, which she is donating to a charity of her choice.

It apologised for the debacle and noted that during her time in China, she delivered reports, analysis and work, that were as valuable as those of the other International Editors in the same period. The BBC added that it was “committed to the principle of equal pay and acting in accordance with our values”.

In January, Gracie accused the BBC of having a “secretive and illegal pay culture” and that it was “not living up to its stated values of trust, honesty and accountability”. She will now take up to six months of unpaid leave to write and speak, on both China and gender equality.

Gracie said, “I am glad to have been able to resolve this with the Director-General – it shows that we can make progress.  I’m also pleased that my work as China Editor has now been properly recognized by the BBC and relieved that this difficult period is over. For me, this was always about the principle, rather than the money. I’m delighted to donate all the backdated pay from the BBC to help women striving for equality at work.”

BBC Director General Tony Hall added, “I am pleased that we’ve been able to move past our differences and work through things together; we can now look to the future. I’m also glad that Carrie will be contributing to Donalda MacKinnon’s project to make the BBC a great place for women to work. That really matters to me, and I want us to lead the way.”