The BBC's former China editor has said she rejected a £45,000 pay rise as it was a "botched solution" to her appeal for equal pay at the corporation.
Carrie Gracie was hailed a "brave lady" for taking a stand about "respect as well as reward" after resigning her £135,000-post in protest at the corporation's unequal pay for women.
She accused the BBC of "breaking equality law" and having a "secretive and illegal pay culture" in a 1,400-word open letter.
Ms Gracie said her move was prompted by learning the BBC's male international editors earned "at least 50% more" than her.
Appearing on BBC Woman's Hour, she said: "My pay, as you may know, is £135,000. The BBC offered to raise that to £180,000; however, I was not interested in more money.
"I was interested in equality and I kept saying to my managers that I didn't need more money, I just needed to be made equal and that can be done in a variety of ways."
The 55-year-old journalist, who will continue to work at the BBC in London, earlier thanked the support as she guest edited Radio 4's Today Programme on Monday morning, saying it showed a "depth of hunger for an equal, fair and transparent pay system".
Ms Gracie was praised by BBC colleagues, MPs and journalists with the hashtag #IStandWithCarrie trending in the UK while a letter from a group dubbed BBC Women was widely shared on Twitter.
She also received support from BBC Europe editor Katya Adler, who said she would "miss (Carrie Gracie) by my side as (the) only other female editor in (BBC) foreign news".
Ms Gracie had criticised BBC bosses after learning her and Ms Adler were earning less than half the salaries of their two male equivalents.
The BBC's publishing of talent salaries over £150,000 last year revealed US editor Jon Sopel earned £200,000-£249,999 while Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen earned £150,000-£199,999.
Neither Ms Gracie nor Ms Adler were included on the list.
Ms Gracie condemned the BBC for the way it was reviewing the pay of female staff in the open letter addressed to "Dear BBC Audience" (which can be read in full below).
She called for the BBC's international editors, both male and female, to receive equal pay but suggested her managers had judged women's work to be worth much less than men's.
"I told my bosses the only acceptable resolution would be for all the international editors to be paid the same amount," she wrote.
"The right amount would be for them to decide, and I made clear I wasn't seeking a pay rise, just equal pay. Instead the BBC offered me a big pay rise which remained far short of equality."
She said her experience was consistent with others, saying: "Many have since sought pay equality through internal negotiation but managers still deny there is a problem,"
"This bunker mentality is likely to end in a disastrous legal defeat for the BBC and an exodus of female talent at every level."
The journalist left her post as China editor last week and would return to the TV newsroom "where I expect to be paid equally".
The BBC said an independent audit of its "rank and file" staff had found "no systemic discrimination against women" with a report on on-air staff, including Ms Gracie, to be made public "in the not too distant future".
A BBC spokesman said: "Fairness in pay is vital. A significant number of organisations have now published their gender pay figures showing that we are performing considerably better than many and are well below the national average."
The BBC's confirmation of on-air staff earning more than £150,000 showed a sizeable gap between the male and female presenters and actors.
Radio 2's Chris Evans topping the list on more than £2 million while the highest paid woman was Claudia Winkleman on between £450,000-£499,999.
Michelle Stanistreet, general secretary of the National Union of Journalists, said: "It's no surprise that NUJ member Carrie Gracie is not prepared to stay silent about the injustice wrought upon her by her own employer.
"Her letter to licence fee payers makes it clear what a difficult decision it has been to speak out about what she calls a crisis of trust at the BBC, but why it is vital that the British public are clear about why she has been forced to resign her post as China Editor and return early to London.
"Carrie is one of many women journalists at the BBC who are angry and frustrated that a swifter resolution has not been reached to this scourge of unequal pay at our public service broadcaster.
"The NUJ is determined to hold the BBC to account and reach proper settlements on behalf of women who have suffered a deficit in salary and pension contributions over many years."
Ms Gracie described leading the BBC's China coverage since 2004 as "the greatest privilege of my career" in her open letter.
Here is Ms Gracie's open letter in full: