Ipswich gender pay gap revealed as women earn £162 per week less than men

Shelly Darwin has said more need to be done to tackle the gender pay gap in Ipswich. Picture: SIMON

Shelly Darwin has said more need to be done to tackle the gender pay gap in Ipswich. Picture: SIMON PARKER - Credit: Archant

An Ipswich Councillor has called for more to be done to tackle the gender pay gap in Ipswich, after latest figures have revealed women in the town earn £162 less per week than men.

Latest figures compiled by the Office for National Statistics and presented at Ipswich Borough Council’s north east area committee have revealed that the gross weekly pay for full time men working in Ipswich is £608 – significantly more than the £574.90 east of England average and the £580.60 national average.

But women working full time in Ipswich earn just £445.50 a week – more than £20 a week lower than the £466.60 average for the east of England, and more than £35 per week less than the national average for full time women.

The figure means full-time women are earning £162.70 less per week on average than men.

Shelly Darwin, Ipswich borough councillor for the St John’s ward, said: “I think that the gender pay gap is inequality on display really and it’s clear for everyone to see from the figures – the figures were a shock to see.

“Personally as a single parent and as a woman I feel strongly about any work we can do to counteract this inequality.”

Ms Darwin said many in her ward were feeling the squeeze, and pointed to statistics from the Fawcett Society which suggest that women make up 60% of those earning below the living wage across the country.

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While those figures are for those who work in Ipswich, but may live elsewhere in the county, statistics for those who live in Ipswich paint a bleaker picture, revealing women are paid more than £75 a week less than the regional average. Full time men earn around £68 less than the east of England average.

“A lot of that is to do with gender stereotypes – some are [seen as] more feminine jobs and often low paid roles for example,” Ms Darwin added.

“I am proud that Ipswich Borough Council is a living wage employer for all of the staff, and I think that’s an important step that has been made.”

Ms Darwin said the issue goes hand-in-hand with women’s representation in politics and senior jobs.

She added: “I am passionate about encouraging more women to stand for councillors because representation is really important. Better representation makes for better decision-making for both men and women.”