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The gender pay gap is a myth, argues Alex Claridge

City council admits to 11% pay gap between men and women

An 11% pay gap exists between male and female employees at Canterbury City Council.

Under legislation introduced last year, all employers of 250 or more people must publish their gender pay gap as of 31 March 2017.

The gender pay gap is defined as the difference between the average earnings of men and women, expressed relative to men’s earnings.

Tricia Marshall, the authority’s deputy chief executive, said: “Men and women who are doing the same job at the council are paid the same.

“We have a robust job evaluation scheme which thoroughly assesses the roles we have and ensures both genders are paid equally according to the responsibilities and expertise required.

Deputy chief exec Tricia Marshall

“We have many exceptional female members of staff already. We do, however, have more men in higher paid roles than women. The challenge for us now is to identify why this is and look at how attractive we appear as an employer to women.

“Our message to the public is a simple one – we are a great employer. We would really encourage more women to apply for roles with us and develop a career in local government.”

The council says its difference is similar to that of other local authorities and that it has developed “family friendly policies” such as flexible working, job sharing and working from home.

But Dr Joanna Williams, from the University of Kent, has argued that highlighting differences in pay amounts to a misplaced attempt to blame sexism for it.

She said: “Most of the angst over the gender pay gap comes from women in elite positions – well-paid media personalities or those fighting for a position on company boards.

“Women who have jobs rather than careers often recognise that they are far better off fighting for higher wages alongside, rather than pitched against, their male colleagues.

“The bluster around the gender pay gap allows already privileged women a way of claiming disadvantage over many less-well-paid men.”

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