London pay gap is UK's widest

Jan 12 2005 by Brian Amble Print This Article

The concentration of women in lower paid service industry roles in London means that the pay gap between men and women is significantly wider in the capital than the rest of the UK, according to new research.

"Women in London's Economy", commissioned by the Mayor of London, has found that women in the capital earn on average 25 per cent less than men, compared with 18 per cent less across the UK.

The most common female occupations in London such as call centre staff and shop assistants pay an average of £5.38 per hour, while the most common male jobs pay £17.30 – more than three times as much.

Much of the difference can be attributed to the type of jobs women are employed in. Women make up more than six out of ten (62 per cent) of secretarial and administrative roles but only a quarter of managerial and senior occupations.

Only six per cent of directors of London's FTSE 250 companies are women and only one business in 10 is owned by a woman.

The report also suggests that when women are on the board of a company, their average total remuneration is less than half that of their male counterparts.

According to the report, London also has fewer mothers working part-time than other parts in the UK. It claims that the capital's output could be increased by as much as one per cent - £1.5 billion - if the proportion of women working part time was raised to the national average.

Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, said that the inequalities were bad for women and bad for London's economy and society.

"London's future as a world city depends on using the talents of all its citizens to the full. As this research shows we need to make far better use than we currently do of women's potential in the capital's workplaces," he said.

"Women are the majority of London's population yet barriers often prevent them playing a full part in the capital's economy.

"This report also demonstrates the importance of improving the provision and affordability of childcare in the capital, and has implications for national policies on employment, benefits and equality," Livingstone added.