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Women still getting paid less for bringing home the bacon in Havering

PUBLISHED: 10:09 26 August 2016 | UPDATED: 10:09 26 August 2016

There is a 18 per cent pay gap between men and women's wages, which increases by 12 years after the birth of a first child. Picture Chris Radburn/PA Wire

There is a 18 per cent pay gap between men and women's wages, which increases by 12 years after the birth of a first child. Picture Chris Radburn/PA Wire

Research showing women earn 18 per cent less than men on average has been called a "stark inequality" by a Havering organisation.

It may be four decades since the Equal Pay Act was passed, yet a study conducted by The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) revealed there is still a divide between how much money each gender brings home.

The Women’s Equality Party (WEP) Havering said the inequality not only directly impacts thousands of women and their families but also undermines the economy.

“This isn’t a problem that’s easily explained away,” said Vinice Cowell, spokeswoman for the group.

“The pay gap is not simply a result of women failing to negotiate higher wages but stems from structural inequalities between men and women in our society.

“The government cannot continue to drag its heels – we need meaningful action to close the gap.”

The study also showed that the pay gap between men and women widens by 12 years after the birth of a first child, with women earning 33pc less.

Mum-of-one Summer Turner, 30, of Rainham, said the gulf between pay packets impacts greatly on women as they are usually the ones who have to consider child care costs.

“Nine times out of 10 it will be the woman who sorts out the nursery,” she said.

However the research did reveal some more encouraging information by showing society is moving in the right direction and the gulf has decreased over the past few years.

IFS data showed in 1993 women were paid on average 28pc less than men.

Cllr Jason Frost, speaking on behalf of the council’s Havering Women in Business forum, said it was a shame businesses were wasting opportunities to utilise women’s skills and experience.

“At Havering Women in Business we have seen our members take control over their careers and the majority of these women have become entrepreneurs demonstrating that a work-life balance can be achieved,” he said.

“Diversity in the business market can deliver better financial results.

“Any woman who lives or works in Havering is welcome to join Havering Women in Business; a free networking group that encourages collaboration and provides support.”

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