Fareham MP says more still needs to be done to tackle gender pay gap

MP Suella Fernandes.'11/12/2015''caption: Fareham MP Suella Fernandes.''Picture: Sarah Standing (151992-379c) PPP-160806-120458001
MP Suella Fernandes.'11/12/2015''caption: Fareham MP Suella Fernandes.''Picture: Sarah Standing (151992-379c) PPP-160806-120458001
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FRESH figures have shown the average hourly pay for women at companies such as Virgin Money, easyJet and Ladbrokes is more than 15 per cent lower than their male counterparts.

More than 500 organisations with 250 or more workers have so far published their gender pay gap figures, which reveal the difference in the average pay and bonuses for female and male employees.

For easyJet, the mean hourly rate for women was 52 per cent lower than for men, while the figure stood at 15 per cent lower for Ladbrokes and 33 per cent lower at Virgin Money.

All three firms said men and women in the same roles were paid the same, and put the gender pay gap down to having more men in higher-paid positions.

At airline easyJet, for example, just six per cent of its pilots - who earn an average salary of £92,400 - are women, while females make up 69 per cent of its cabin crew, earning £24,800 on average.

The firm said it was actively seeking to recruit more female pilots, with a target of 20% of new entrant pilots being women by 2020.

Ladbrokes Coral Group said the gender pay gap was ‘largely a function of weak representation at our senior levels’, and said it was looking to improve gender representation.

Virgin Money said it was aiming to achieve a 50:50 gender balance by 2020 as it revealed that just 35 per cent of employees in the highest paid quartile were women, compared to 73 per cent in the lowest quartile.

Fareham MP Suella Fernandes welcomed the latest figures but said more still needed to be done to tackle gender inequality.

She said: ‘We have made huge progress so far, with the gender cap now at its lowest level it has been in a long time.

‘So we’re moving in the right direction and that’s in a large part due to the transparency report obligations introduced by this government.’

The government has made it mandatory for all organisations with 250 or more workers to report annually on their gender pay gap, and are required to publish the first set of data by April.

The gender pay gap is different to ‘equal pay’, which deals with the pay differences between men and women who carry out the same jobs.

Several of the organisations to have already published their figures reported low or no gender pay gap, including the British Museum (0 per cent) and the UK Armed Forces (0.9 per cent).

Also included in the latest figures was the BBC which reported its mean hourly rate for women was 10.7 per cent lower than for men, while the figure was 30 per cent lower for the Co-operative Bank.

Steven Pickering, chief risk officer at the Co-operative Bank, said: ‘Like many banks, our gender profile means that we have a pay gap which reflects the number of men in senior roles compared to the number of women.

‘Through our five-point action plan, we aim to achieve a material increase in the number of women in senior roles, which, in turn, will help reduce our gender pay gap.’

Cambridgeshire Police revealed women had a mean hourly pay of 13% more than men.