Sheffield women’s pay still lags behind

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Women in Sheffield are paid on average nearly 10 per cent less than male counterparts doing similar work, a Hallam University professor has found.

Dr Helen Richardson, professor of gender and organisation at Sheffield Business School, says the city must recognise and value its talented women.

Her research looked at economic activity in the South Yorkshire region from the beginning of the recession and found that, despite female students outperforming men, they are still likely to receive £3,000 less as a starting salary.

By 2010 male unemployment rates in Sheffield had levelled off at 7.4 per cent but for women there has been a steady and continuing rise, from 4.5 per cent in 2010 to 6.8 per cent in 2013.

Dr Richardson also found differences in occupation for men and women after analysing the UK Quarterly Labour Force Survey.

The Sheffield Hallam academic found the majority of the 6,820 women in South Yorkshire who were surveyed had roles in administration, education, health and hospitality, while the 6,322 men mainly worked in manufacturing, construction, transport and communications.

And while there are equal numbers of men and women employed in the region, over twice as many women work in the public sector than men.

Dr Richardson said: “We need some urgent and collaborative thinking to utilise rather than waste or lose the knowledge and skills from the Sheffield city region.

“We need to protect and improve levels of pay and forms of work as well as widen access to job opportunities at every level for women, particularly in male-dominated sectors.

“Women are creative and talented entrepreneurs and companies with the most women in leadership outperform those with the fewest,” she added, at a lecture which marked her return to her home city.