Worst Offenders: The Cities With The Worst Record on Equal Pay

Famous for its role in the industrial revolution, with some of the country’s first factories and spinning mills, Derby has quite an illustrious history. Distinguished in equal measure for its Rolls Royce factories, Royal Crown Derby porcelain and railway engineering, it is home to thriving industry and trade. These days however, Derby is making a name for itself for reasons far less esteemed, hitting the headlines recently for being the city with the widest gender pay gap in Britain.


According to analysis by business finance group Rangewell on behalf of The Times, women in Derby earn a staggering £10,000 a year less than men.


The Office for National Statistics has estimated the median pay for men in full-time work in the UK to be £31,100, compared with £25,300 for women. in Derby however, men earn £35,900 on average, compared with £25,360 for women – a difference of £10,540.


Employment in Derby has traditionally been found in engineering and manufacturing sectors. Despite many plants having closed or downsized in recent years, there remains a significant manufacturing presence, with men tending to dominate the higher paid roles. One of the largest employers in the city is Japanese car maker Toyota, where according to the government’s gender pay gap data, women earn only 64p for every £1 earned by men.


Following closely behind Derby in the list of worst offending cities is Wolverhampton and Bath. The pay gap in all three cities is worse than in London, where men earn £8.020 more on average, owing largely to their continued dominance in finance and legal professions. In Wolverhampton, one of the largest employers is Lloyds Banking Group, where women only earn 67p for every £1 earned by men.


A spokesman for Wolverhampton council said: “Our city faces many social and economic challenges. Boosting employment and skills levels is hugely important.” Bath council said that its gender pay gap was probably because there was a higher proportion of men in professional occupations in the city than the national average.


Many are claiming the statistics to be the result of generations of industry, where higher paid and skilled jobs traditionally went to men. Derby’s own city council said that the pay gap was “reflective of Derby’s industrial heritage and local partners are taking steps to improve this”. This claim however is somewhat undermined by Leicester, another industrial city just 40 miles down the road, which enjoys the lowest gender pay gap of any major city in the UK, at only £2,340. This huge difference, in a city of such similar socioeconomic standing, seems to suggest there is more to it than that. Furthermore, the BBC (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-derbyshire-43632393) claim that Derbyshire Constabulary continues to have one of the largest pay gaps between men and women of all the police forces in England and Wales. Its gender pay gap remains unchanged in 12 months, with female employees earning on average 71p for every £1 earned by male colleagues, meaning the disparity is not just limited to manufacturing and industry professions.


Comparing the ONS data by council shows that Denbighshire in Wales has the smallest gender pay gap in the UK, with men earning only £375 more than women on average. In Gwynedd, women earn on average £3,290 more than men; one of only two boroughs in the UK where this happens.