‘Shocking’ figures show men earning £14,000 more than women every year

PUBLISHED: 09:00 25 June 2014

Archant

WOMEN in North Somerset are earning a ‘staggering’ £14,000 less than men each year - and the ‘truly disgusting’ wage gap is still widening.

Males working full-time took home 54 per cent more than their female counterparts on average in 2013, earning a typical gross pay packet of £39,420, in comparison to women’s £25,503.

Local businesswomen have labelled the figures a ‘travesty’ and ‘shocking’, and called for more to be done to combat the disparity.

And far from closing, the gap between genders is still widening, rising from £9,713 three years ago, when women’s pay was 26 per cent lower than men’s.

Just 29 out of 324 authorities measured in England harboured larger discrepancies between genders.

In stark contrast to North Somerset trends, the difference nationally has fallen every year since 2007, and the difference in pay in North Somerset is more than £4,500 greater than across the country as a whole.

Beverley Milner-Simmonds, a board member of the equality and diversity for the Homes and Communities Agency and founder of Burnham Food Festival, believes women are less likely to ask for pay rises or negotiate contracts, leaving them comparatively out of pocket.

She said: “Women are not great at asking for a pay rise, and it’s the same when it comes to negotiating salary positions. I used to see it time and time again when I worked in HR.

“This £14,000 is another employee on minimum wage and it is staggering to see such a figure, it’s a travesty and hopefully it acts as a wake-up call.

“Women need to start asking for more money in these situations and think they are going to get it.”

Di Bradley, who runs The Nightjar pub in Mead Vale, said: “It’s truly disgusting, really. I thought that the government had put sufficient legislation in place to stop things like this, but it seems not.”

North Somerset Council’s Unison representative Helen Thornton blamed the figures on the type of work available in North Somerset, rather than any underlying issues.

She said: “It is shocking in some ways, but in others you can see why. It is very noticeable that women here do earn a lot less than men but I think it is due 
to the high number of jobs in care in this area, which are poorly paid and largely undertaken by women.

“A lot of people who live in North Somerset listed on higher wages are working in other areas. Obviously it’s not good for the reputation of North Somerset to be so high in this list. Inequality is very high generally in this area because we have got such a divide between rich and poor areas.”

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