Gender pay gap see Leeds women work without pay for more than four months

Women in Leeds effectively went without pay for more than four months last year due to the gender pay gap, figures show.

Recently, all companies with 250 or more staff were required to report their gender pay figures, with more than three-quarters of companies nationally showing a gap in pay favouring male employees.

In Leeds, Office of National Statistics figures show that women in work earned an average annual salary of £18,295 in 2018 – 37 per cent lower than the average man’s salary of £28,945. It means that, in effect, women in Leeds worked for free from August 19 last year.

The average pay figures are calculated using a median, rather than mean, average, to stop them being skewed by particularly small or large pay packets. The difference in pay can partly be explained by the number of women in part-time work. An estimated 59,000 women in Leeds were in part-time work last year, around 44 per cent of the female workforce. Of the 140,000 working men, 18,000 (13 per cent) were in part-time work. Despite that, the difference in pay was still evident in full-time roles: men in Leeds earned an average of £30,605 last year, and women £24,336 – 20 per cent less. Across the UK, the average gender pay gap was 36 per cent across all roles and 18 per cent for full-time.

Carolyn Fairbairn, director general of the CBI, said: “Many of the causes lie outside the workplace including a lack of affordable, high-quality childcare and better careers advice. Companies and the government working together remains the best way to deliver the long-term, lasting change that’s needed.”