St Helens Council follows the national trend in the gender pay gap !

Full details about St Helens Council follows the national trend in the gender pay gap

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In an effort to narrow the historic pay gap between men and women, employers with 250 or more workers must now publish figures on the government’s gender pay gap service.

This includes 307 councils across the country, with current data showing the average local authority was paying women 2.9% less than their male colleagues in the year to March 2023; A slight improvement from 3% in the previous year.

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Council women made, on average, less than men

St Helens Star: Board members and stakeholders of the Glassutures project in St HelensBoard members and stakeholders of the Glassutures project in St Helens (Image: St Helens Council)

In St Helens Borough Council, the average hourly wage for women was 7.3% lower than for men in the year to March 2023, a figure slightly above the national average.

This is also an increase in numbers from the previous year, showing that women’s average hourly earnings were 5.7% less than men’s. When comparing the average (median) between men and women in the year to March 2023, women’s hourly wages are 7.1% less than men’s.

However, despite these numbers, women hold high-level positions on the board, including the CEO, executive directors, and directors.

The government’s Gender Pay Gap Service also highlights how women hold more positions in higher and middle-paid jobs on the council, but they also hold the bulk of lower-paying jobs (76%) as well.

The presence of women in higher-paying jobs is evidence that the council is an inclusive workplace, council members say, and demonstrates that there is no barrier to accessing higher positions of power.

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Statement from St Helens Council

St. Helens Star: Council members celebrate the twinning project with StuttgartCouncil members celebrate the twinning project with Stuttgart (Image: St Helens Council)

A St Helens Borough Council spokesperson said: “We are an inclusive council offering support such as flexible and agile working opportunities for staff, including staff with other commitments. However, in lower paying jobs we have a large number of female staff which could impact these figures. .

“On the other hand, 61.43 per cent of the top 5 per cent of top earners currently in senior positions in St Helens Borough Council are female, including the CEO, CEOs and directors, all of whom are role models for their peers.”

Data across the country

While the pay gap between men and women may be narrowing, government data shows that only 22% of board leaders are women and only 33% of women hold the chief executive role across England and Wales.

Also, 12 councils reported a wage gap of more than 20% in 2021-2022.

Jemima Olczewski, chief executive of theawcett Society, which campaigns for women’s rights, said: “While an important step, reporting the gender pay gap is not a solution in and of itself.

“As these figures show, there is a gap between the best and worst performing local authorities.”

Ms Olszewski urged employers to publish plans on how to address wage gaps, and recommended local authorities share knowledge with those who “need to do better”.