Revealed: Significant gender pay gap in North Somerset

Gender pay gap. Picture: Getty Images

Gender pay gap. Picture: Getty Images - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Women in North Somerset on average earned 42 per cent less than their male counterparts last year.

New figures released by the Office of National Statistics show women earned an average salary of £18,750 in 2018 – while men earned £32,107.

Since 2017, all companies with more than 250 staff must report their gender pay figures, with more than three quarters of companies nationally showing a gap in pay favouring male employees.

The figures are calculated using a median, rather than mean average, to stop them being skewed by very small or large pay packets.

At North Somerset Council women earn on average 13.9 per cent less than men, while women working for Avon And Somerset Constabulary earn 14.9 per cent less, while women at Bristol Airport earn 23.1 per cent less.

The Times’ parent company, Archant, recorded a 7.9 per cent gap in favour of men.

Although the difference in pay can partly be explained by a much higher percentage of women in part-time work compared to men and a higher number of men than women in senior roles, the difference in pay was still evident with men in the district earning an average of £34,476 last year for a full-time role and women £24,191.

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Across the UK, the average gender pay gap was 18 per cent for men and women in full-time work.

A council spokesman said: “The council has a clear policy of paying employees equally for the same work.

“We are confident this gap is not a result of paying men and women differently, rather it is a result of the salaries different roles within the council attract.”

A police spokesman said: “It is our aim to ensure our workforce is more evenly balanced between men and women, however women are still underrepresented at some ranks and in some specialist roles.

“We need to encourage more women to see policing as a career, and support them to advance within it by improving our recruitment and working practices.

“We will continue to explore how we can attract more women to senior roles.”

A spokesman for Bristol Airport said: “We have helped launch a new Women in Business Charter which calls on businesses to support women in their organisations, as well as close the gender pay gap.

“This includes inclusive recruitment and selection policies, mentoring programmes and providing ways to support the progression of women through our business.”

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Big employers aren’t doing enough to tackle the root causes of pay inequality and women are paying the price.

“Companies shouldn’t just be made to publish their gender pay gap, they should be legally required to explain how they’ll close them, and bosses who flout the law should be fined.”