Gender Pay Gap: between Preston, Chorley and South Ribble only one bucks the national trend
and live on Freeview channel 276
Office for National Statistics figures show women in Lancashire were earning an average of £14.35 per hour as of April, while men were paid £16.12 – a gap of 11%.
In Lancashire men’s wages saw an annual growth of 5.9%, while women earned 5.2% more than they did a year ago.
The gender pay gap in Lancashire is higher than the national average which stood at 8.2% this year, with male workers making £18.14 per hour and female workers earning £16.65. In the North West the gender pay gap stood at 7.8%.
Women’s rights charity the Fawcett Society has estimated based on average earnings across the country, women will effectively work for free from November 22 until the end of the year.
All figures are based on full-time workers’ median wages and exclude overtime pay.
Office for National Statistics figures show women in Preston were earning an average of £14.32 per hour as of April, while men were paid £15.32 – a gender pay gap of 6.5%.
In Preston men’s wages saw a slight annual decrease of 1.3%, while women earned 0.8% less than they did a year ago.
The pay gap in South Ribble is worse than it is in Preston standing at 8.1% with South Ribble women earning an average of £15.18 per hour as of April, while men were paid £16.51.
In South Ribble, men’s wages saw an annual growth of 8.8%, while women had almost no increase to their earnings than they did a year ago.
However in Chorley, women earn more than men, despite a widening of the gender pay gap in Great Britain.
Figures released by the Office for National Statistics show that women in Chorley were earning an average of £15.81 per hour as of April – 3.5% more than men, who were paid £15.28.
The figures also revealed women in Chorley earned more than men last year, when the pay gap also stood at 14% in their favour.
Overall in the past year, Chorley men’s wages saw an annual growth of 21.2%, while women earned 10% more than they did a year ago, reducing the gap.
What is Equal Pay Day?
Equal Pay Day will be marked on November 22 this year, after which “women start working for free until the end of the year,” Jemima Olchawski, chief executive at the Fawcett Society said.
She added: “This is just 48 hours later than last year and represents a glacial shift in the gender pay gap of just 0.2 percentage points.
“There are so many policy interventions that could turn the dial but the simplest of them all is making flexible work the default.
“A lack of genuinely flexible, quality work traps women in roles below their capabilities and encourages the notion that flexible work is a privilege, not an essential part of a modern economy. This is a big reason we have a persistent gender pay gap which harms women and our economy.”
What does an expert in Lancashire say?
Rebecca Florisson, principal analyst at the Work Foundation at Lancaster University, said: “Although the gender pay gap has narrowed over time, it remains substantial. We know that women are nearly twice as likely as men to be in insecure and low-paid work, and the picture is even worse for mothers.
She added: “We must ensure fewer women feel the need to trade job security against flexibility. That means boosting the provision of affordable care and childcare options, and embedding flexibility across a much greater proportion of secure and well paid jobs.”
What does the government say?
A spokesperson for the Government’s Equality Hub said: “The gender pay gap has been trending downwards since 1997, and the Government continues to take significant action to ensure women can reach their full potential at work.
“We are starting a childcare revolution with an increase to 30 hours free childcare from 9 months to school age, £100 million in capital funding to help nurseries expand, and £289 million for the wraparound care across the country.
“Millions of employees will be able to request flexible working from day one, and our STEM returners programme is getting carers back into the workplace.”