Sheffield's gender pay gap revealed - city women among lowest-paid across big UK cities

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The gender pay gap in Sheffield is significantly higher than the UK average, while women here earn less than those in 10 other core cities, it is claimed.

Sheffield' s gender pay also gap means women will effectively work months for free this year, figures suggest.

Estimates from the Office for National statistics show that as of April, female workers in Sheffield were paid an average of £12.36 an hour while their male peers received £15.11 – an overall pay gap of 18 per cent.

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Over the course of the working year, that means, in effect, women in Sheffield will have worked without pay since October 26.

Woman working at computer in an officeWoman working at computer in an office
Woman working at computer in an office
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Nationally, the female workforce is paid a median hourly rate of £12.92 – 15 per cent less than the £15.27 hourly wage earned by men.

Charlotte Mead, Sheffield branch leader for the Women’s Equality Party, said: “Women still earn just 81p of every pound earned by men. This is still a stark fact even almost half a century after the Equal Pay Act.

“However you measure it the story is the same, women earn less per hour, less per job and less overall. When you then bring an intersectional lens to that, so if you a BAME woman, or disabled, or LGBTQI+, then the situation is even worse.

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Sheffield Cllr Paul Turpin. Picture Scott MerryleesSheffield Cllr Paul Turpin. Picture Scott Merrylees
Sheffield Cllr Paul Turpin. Picture Scott Merrylees

“It's important that we view the gender pay gap in the context of women's experiences not only in the workplace, but throughout their lives - women are more likely, for example, to sacrifice the opportunity to earn a wage for the sake of the family.

“The contribution of women to our economy and our society is under valued both at work and at home.

“This has to change. We need an entire shift in the way we view and organise our economy, which works for everyone.”

Out of the 10 ‘core cities’ – Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, and Sheffield – wages in Sheffield for women are the lowest.

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Charlotte Mead, in black, addressing full councilCharlotte Mead, in black, addressing full council
Charlotte Mead, in black, addressing full council

Paul Turpin, Sheffield City Council’s executive member for inclusive economy, jobs and skills, said that the gender pay gap in Sheffield in ‘not acceptable’ but added the gap was closing.

He said: “A persistent gender pay gap is not acceptable in a 21st century inclusive economy, yet it persists across the UK. Sheffield has the lowest median salary for women of all 10 core cities, but we also have the second lowest median salary for men which shows that Sheffield needs to do better all around.

“On a positive note, over the last decade in Sheffield the gross female hourly wage has been growing more quickly than males gross hourly pay, but the gap is still there.

“This is a symptom of the male dominated patriarchal society we live in, but it doesn’t have to be this way. There are interventions in workplaces that would help; transparency over pay, access to promotions, bonuses, and overtime, encouraging flexible working and supporting shared parental leave, could all help to close the pay gap.

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Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty ImagesPhoto by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images
Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images

“Businesses should be more honest about to whom and how they pay wages, by simply paying women the same as men for doing the same job.”

“In Sheffield City Council we are working on misogyny training for elected members and officers to train away gender bias, which in many cases will be unconscious. Until women are seen as equals to men there will be an inequality in pay, organisational and societal structures, and opportunities. We can all contribute to a better society by confronting these inequalities.”

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