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Kent County Council leader under fire for claiming there is “no glass ceiling” for female staff

PUBLISHED: 10:09 26 January 2018 | UPDATED: 10:13 26 January 2018

KCC leader Paul Carter. Picture: Dave Hobday

KCC leader Paul Carter. Picture: Dave Hobday

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The leader of Kent County Council (KCC) has come under fire for claiming there is “no glass ceiling” for female staff at the organisation, despite having only one woman in his top team.

Cllr Peter Carter, who spoke following the release of the council’s gender pay gap figures, hailed the authoritiy’s equal pay policy.

Figures released by the council show the difference in salaries between men and women is below the national average of 18 per cent (pc).

On average, female employees at the local authority receive about 12 pc less pay than men.

Cllr Carter said: “Kent County Council has an equal pay policy which means that men and women get paid the same salary for the same job.

“There is no glass ceiling at KCC and the number of female and male employees at corporate director level is 50/50.”

Cllr Dr Lauren Sullivan, from the Labour Party, said: “It is difficult to take the leader of the council seriously on the glass ceiling when his own front bench consists of only one woman.

“I think KCC has a long way to go before it can showcase itself as representative and reflective of our society we serve.”

Leader of the Lib Dem opposition, Cllr Rob Bird, said: “Within KCC it is disappointing that there is only one woman in the cabinet.

“Of the 67 Conservative county councillors, at present 18 are women, so it is surprising that Paul Carter is not prepared to give women a bigger role in the Conservative administration.”

In response, Cllr Carter said his party are working hard to recruit more female councillors.

He said: “At the 2017 election we saw an increase in the number of female councillors from 16 to 21 and, following a recent by-election this increased to 22.

“We continue to work hard to attract more females into these roles and the direction of travel is encouraging.

“However this is a national issue across local government and Westminster.”

Under legislation passed last year, any organisation with more than 250 employees must publish its gender pay gap statistics by March 31.

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