THE Bradford Chamber of Commerce wants to help women level up in the workplace after new figures revealed those in Bradford are earning less than men.

Office for National Statistics figures show women in Bradford were earning an average of £15.56 per hour as of April, while men were paid £17.12 – a gap of 9.1 per cent.

The average pay gap in the country stood at 8.2 per cent this year, with male workers making £18.14 per hour and female workers earning £16.65.

Equal Pay Day will be marked on November 22 this year, after which “women start working for free until the end of the year,” Jemima Olchawski, chief executive at the Fawcett Society, said.

She added: “This is just 48 hours later than last year and represents a glacial shift in the gender pay gap of just 0.2 percentage points.

“There are so many policy interventions that could turn the dial but the simplest is making flexible work the default.

“A lack of genuinely flexible, quality work traps women in roles below their capabilities and encourages the notion that flexible work is a privilege, not an essential part of a modern economy.”

In Bradford, men’s wages saw an annual growth of 6.4 per cent, while women earned 4.8 per cent more than they did a year ago.

The figures also revealed the gender pay gap in Bradford widened by 1.5 points this year.

Mark Cowgill, president of the Bradford Chamber of Commerce, said: “The figures highlighted by the Fawcett Society are disappointing. Issues faced by women in the workplace however are not confined to pay.

“Recent research by the Chamber has showed that two thirds of women feel they have missed out on career progression because of childcare responsibilities.

“Similarly, almost three quarters of females feel there is not sufficient support for those experiencing menopause.

“As a Chamber, both in Bradford and nationally, we are committed to facing these challenges head on by levelling up for women in the workplace, through an urgent three-year campaign.

“This includes the setting up of a Chamber Workplace Equity Commission which will analyse research findings and case studies to develop policies for Government and best practices for businesses enshrining equity in the workplace.”

In Yorkshire and The Humber, the gender pay gap stood at 10.5 per cent.

A spokesperson for the Government’s Equality Hub said: “The gender pay gap has been trending downwards since 1997, and the Government continues to take significant action to ensure women can reach their full potential at work.

“We are starting a childcare revolution with an increase to 30 hours free childcare from nine months to school age.”