MALE employees at Stroud District Council are paid 15.9 per cent more than female staff, according to its gender pay gap report.

Each organisation with more than 250 employees is required to publish a gender pay gap report detailing the difference in pay between men and women.

Although the majority of the council’s staff are women, due to more senior roles being filled by men, they are paid 15.9 per cent cent less, new figures show.

However, the data also shows that SDC’s gender pay gap has improved since last year, narrowing by 1.3 percentage points.

Leader of SDC, Cllr Doina Cornell said: “I’m pleased to see that we are making progress and the gender pay gap at Stroud District Council has narrowed from the previous year.

"It’s worth noting that these figures are for 2017-2018 and therefore don’t take account of the fact that we appointed a female chief executive, Kathy O’Leary, in November 2018 which will narrow the gap still further.

"Both Kathy and I are committed to promoting equality of opportunity and taking positive steps to continue to close the gender pay gap.”

In Gloucestershire, nine public bodies submitted their data for 2018/19.

Of those, Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust was the only public body to have a gender pay gap in favour of women, with women earning 1p more for every £1 a man earns.

Cheltenham-based cyber security centre GCHQ published its gender pay gap data for the first time, and it shows for every pound a man earns there a woman earns 13p less.

Hephzi Pemberton, founder of Equality Group, an organisation that promotes diversity in the workplace, said: “One of the most effective ways to close the gap is to get women into the highest paid positions – that’s where the chasm really occurs.

“Businesses need to assess their current policies and produce affirmative action and enforcement measures to ensure sustained action and progression.”