The gender pay gap between men and women at Chesterfield Borough Council is lower than national averages.
While all men and women who do the same job are paid exactly the same, new figures released by the council show that the gender pay gap between men and women is 7.4 per cent as a mean average and 9.3 per cent as a median average. This compares to 17.3 per cent and 18.1 per cent respectively at a national level, based on the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics.
The council said this happens because some lower paid jobs, such as building cleaning, have a higher percentage of women in them, while higher paid skilled trade jobs, such as plumbers, bricklayers and heating engineers, are largely held by men. As a result across the workforce there are more men in higher paid jobs than women.
Councillor Tricia Gilby, leader of the council, said: "As the council's first woman leader this is an issue very close to my heart.
"While everyone in the council is paid the same for doing the same job and the gender pay gap within the council is lower than the national average, I still want to see us do more to eliminate this issue over time."
Coun Gilby added: "The reason for the gender pay gap is that some jobs attract more men or more women to them. That reflects wider society and the potential workforce that we can draw applicants from.
"For example, we run successful apprenticeship schemes for a variety of jobs but the number of women applying for roles in skilled trades, such as plumbers, bricklayers and heating engineers, remains low.
"Altering that will require changes in the way young people are encouraged to choose subjects and career options at school. I know local schools, colleges and universities have been working hard on this issue for several years, but it will take time for those initiatives to work through the system and translate in to us seeing more potential women applicants.
"However, we also have to take a long hard look at all our practices and ways that we can encourage more women in to these types of professions. For example, the successful Made in Chesterfield initiative run by Destination Chesterfield gives young people the opportunity to experience some of the skilled trades and engineering jobs on offer in Chesterfield and I know from talking to teachers that when young women have been at those events interest in pursuing those types of careers has gone up."
Figures released by the council also show a higher percentage of men than women receive bonus payments. The council only operates a bonus scheme in its commercial services team, made up of skilled tradespeople who carry out housing repairs or improvements.