Concern over North Somerset’s gender pay divide


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The average full-time salary for men in North Somerset is eclipsing that for women by almost 50 per cent, with the gap growing year on year.

Women in the district take home an average annual pay packet of £25,815, while the mean men’s salary stands at £39,035 – a difference of more than £13,000.

North Somerset’s gender pay gap is among the highest in the country and leaving women out of pocket, with around 40 per cent taking home less than the living wage, compared with less than 10 per cent of men.

Angela Hicks, chief executive of North Somerset Enterprise Agency, said motherhood had proven a barrier for many in work.

She said: “There’s a traditional motherhood penalty which falls on women to do the childcare role and be more flexible in their working practice, and that is penalised by companies in many cases.

“That’s what we hear from support organisations we work with. In the recession there were a lot of women going into self-employment, but they are finding it difficult too.

“There are a lot of things employers can do to help remove some of those barriers, as mothers returning to work tend to have less access to training and money.”