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Gender pay row at county hall

PUBLISHED: 07:00 01 February 2018

Paul Carter, leader of Kent County Council

Paul Carter, leader of Kent County Council

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Northfleet and Gravesend Cllr Dr Lauren Sullivan has said that Kent County Council “can still do more” to fix its gender pay gap after it was revealed to be paying female employees less than male ones.

The statement comes after council leader Cllr Peter Carter claimed last week that there was “no glass ceiling” for female staff, despite having only one woman in his cabinet top team.

Figures found that, on average, female employees at the local authority receive about 12pc less pay than men, which is below the national average of 18pc.

Cllr Sullivan, leader of the Personnel Committee for the Labour group, said: “While is it looking good in terms of movement towards more women in higher positions, there is still more Kent County Council can do to address those issues of why women aren’t coming forward or aren’t climbing the ladder, if that’s what they want to do.

“Those issues could be child care, or they could be carers of other kinds.”

Cllr Sullivan also stated that the social care sector faces a similar issue, where a lot of women work in such fields and struggle to attract men, potentially because there isn’t a career structure, which she said is needed across fields so training can coincide with working in order to allow for career progression.

“We need to do much more to help those women - and men - with caring responsibilities or other personal difficulties, to get the career outcomes that they want.”

But the council leader has insisted that Kent is committed to providing equal salaries and does so, with an equal 50/50 split of all positions at corporate director level.

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