London’s women missing out on pay and promotion

The pay gap between men and women is significantly wider in London than the UK as a whole, according to new research for the Mayor of London.

Women in the capital earn on average 25 per cent less than men, compared with 18 per cent less across the UK.

At the same time the most common female occupation in London pays £5.38 per hour, while the most common male job pays £17.30 – three times as much.

One of the reasons cited by the report is the concentration of women in low-paid jobs in the capital and their exclusion from more lucrative male dominated occupations.

Women are under-represented in London’s managerial and senior occupations by 25 per cent but over-represented in administrative and secretarial roles by 62 per cent. Even in sectors where women dominate there are fewer women at the top.

In business, women represent only 6 per cent of directors of FTSE 250 companies based in London, while only one business in 10 is owned by a woman. Even when women are on the board, the average total remuneration is less than half that of a male counterpart.

The findings are revealed in Women in London’s Economy, which details the huge inequalities women in the capital face in employment.

The report, which contains new research from GLA Economics as well as case studies from employed women and those seeking work, also reveals that having dependent children significantly reduces employment rates for women in the capital compared to the rest of the UK. It claims London’s output would be raised by almost £1.5bn a year if the proportion of mothers in part-time employment were raised to the average national level. This would be equal to almost 1 per cent of London’s entire economic output.

Mayor of London Ken Livingstone said: “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.

“Women are the majority of London’s population yet barriers often prevent them playing a full part in the capital’s economy. The inequalities revealed here are bad for women and bad for London’s economy and society.

“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,” said Livingstone.

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