Gender Pay 2019: Norfolk women paid on average £6,125 less than men
PUBLISHED: 09:46 06 November 2019 | UPDATED: 09:46 06 November 2019
The region’s gender pay gap has been revealed – with men being paid 18.6% better in Norfolk, and 20% better in Suffolk.
New figures have been revealed by the ONS - provisionally revealing the discrepancy for the year so far.
Norfolk's - and indeed the region's - biggest median salary difference (including part time jobs) was in Broadland at 27.6%.
This was followed by south Norfolk at 24.7%, and then King's Lynn and West Norfolk at 22.2%.
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The districts with the smallest gap were in north Norfolk at 10.6% and in Breckland at 12.2%.
Norwich's pay gap was 14.7% - up on 13.4% in 2018.
Suffolk's figures paint a similar picture, with east Suffolk and Ipswich both having a median gap of 22.4% - both of which are an increase on last year.
Both Norfolk and Suffolk have a higher pay gap than the rest of the UK, which is 17.3%.
Bethan Gill is an associate director at Grant Thornton. She said she "wasn't surprised" by the gender pay gap figures for Norfolk.
She explained: "It's just about breaking the glass ceiling and getting women to go for the promotions - it's also about releasing them from the 'sticky floor'.
"Societal pressures mean that women still tend to be the primary caregivers for children, so boards need to look at how they can support women in working as well as doing that."
Mrs Gill is a member of Norfolk's We Can network, which aims to support women aiming to accelerate their careers.
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She said she is a "big supporter" of flexible working hours: "We need to challenge the idea that flexible working hours are detrimental to business."
She added that having men involved in the conversation about pay equality is key to progress: "I think a lot of people see this as a female issue, but actually gender equality in the work place, and at home, will benefit us all. Research shows that more diverse organisations outperform their competitors, so it is in all our interests to support this."
Translating the pay gap to annual wages, the average full time salary in the UK for men was £32,882 compared to women's £26,774 - a difference of £6,108.
In Broadland this means men are paid nearly £10,700 more than women, and are paid £8,759 more in King's Lynn.
In Suffolk, this translates to men being paid £31,407 for every £24,322
But what needs to change higher up the food chain to get women into management positions?
Lynn Walters is the executive director at Chelmsford recruitment firm Pure Executive.
She said: "A lot of research has gone into how companies can better support women in the workplace. There isn't a quick fix, but taking positive steps now will benefit everyone in the long term."
She went on: "My top tips include ensuring the CEO and board own and champion the issue. If it's driven by HR and not supported at the top senior executives within your organisation, it will be like paying lip service."
She said: "Companies should also track and monitor your talent pipeline by gender at every level in the organisation. Notice the level at which the proportion of men and women changes and ask open unbiased questions about why and what can be different."
She added that further measures such as sponsoring aspiring female leaders, encouraging flexible working hours and setting targets would also help boost this."
Norfolk and Suffolk publisher Archant is set to reveal its 2019 gender pay gap report this week. Dee Willmott, chief HR&D officer at the Norwich-based business, said: "The main challenge facing Archant, as with many other organisations, is to increase the representation of women in our most senior roles.
"Archant is committed over time to achieving gender balance in all areas of our business and we are keeping a close eye on how our policies are helping us improve."
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