Cheshire companies reveal little improvement in the gender pay gap

By Rich Wilcock

5th Apr 2023 | Employment

Some Cheshire companies revealed their gender pay data (Image - Unsplash/Arlington Research)
Some Cheshire companies revealed their gender pay data (Image - Unsplash/Arlington Research)

Figures reported for the gender pay gap service have shown that some of the biggest employers in Cheshire East have improvements to be made in most of the statistics measured.

Alongside most of the biggest employers in the country, Cheshire East organisations and companies of a certain size have reported their current gender pay statistics to the Gender Pay Gap Service.

Much like the situation nationally, the gender pay gap is prevalent in Cheshire East. Bentley, which is based in Crewe and employs nearly 4,000 people reported this year, that a woman's average hourly pay was 6.4% lower than a man's.

In a statement, released alongside the report, Bentley said: "At Bentley, we are continuing our strong commitment to close the pay gap.

"That's why we have taken several important actions last year and will continue to do so in the future for our employees and generations to come.

Only 15% of women were in the highest-paid roles at Bentley (Image - Bentley)

"That's why it is of utmost importance to create an inclusive environment in which everyone can flourish, meet their full potential and feel a sense of belonging."

The car manufacturer, also only had 15% of women occupying the highest-paid jobs.

One of the county's other biggest employers, Astra Zeneca, which is based in Macclesfield paid women 9% lower in average hourly pay. The gender pay gap also existed at AO World, one of the largest employers in Cheshire East and which has a key distribution centre in Crewe, reported in their gender pay report, a huge 37% difference in average hourly pay.

The latest statistics also suggested that 67% of the highest-paid roles at the company were also occupied by men.

In a statement, John Roberts, CEO of AO World said: "Whilst we're pleased that our gender pay gap is below the median for the industry, we know that there is more for us to do.

"We are taking action to close the gap including inclusive policy and practice – reviewing our policies to make sure that they're in line with best practice standards, encouraging the development of employee network groups and transparent recruitment."

Our focus on developing a diverse and inclusive culture will continue to be a key focus for us this year."

AO World in Crewe (Image - AO World)

Another Crewe-based company, Likewize had a disproportionate number of women occupying the highest-paid jobs, with only 36% doing so, whilst they also paid women 6p less per hour than men.

The East Cheshire NHS Trust, which employs 2,500 staff across Cheshire East in various settings did report a positive number of women in the highest-paid jobs within its organisation, with a huge 73% of women occupying those roles.

Cheshire East Council had a high percentage of women in the highest-paid roles with 67%, however, they also paid on average, 12.9% less than men and a huge 86% of the lowest-paid roles were occupied by women. The average pay gap had decreased, however, from 13.8% last year.

Cheshire East Council had marginally improved on last year, reporting a 1.1% fall in the average pay gap between men and women (Image - Belinda Ryan)

Lorraine O'Donnell, the chief executive of the council said in the report: "We recognise we still have work to do to close the gap further and the leadership team is committed to achieving this."

Overall, across both Cheshire East and Cheshire West and Chester, there is a disparity in pay between men and women. In the most recent statistics available by the Office for National Statistics, full-time workers in Cheshire East earn an average of £15.88 per hour with full-time workers in Cheshire West earning an average of £15.81 per hour.

However, female full-time workers in Cheshire East earn less per hour according to the figures, with a 1% difference in hourly earnings.

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