Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Mind THEVIRGIN Money Gender Pay Gap.32.5%; PAY

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Mind THEVIRGIN Money Gender Pay Gap.32.5%; PAY

Article excerpt

Byline: jonathon manning jonathon.manning@ncjmedia.co.uk

BIG divides in the amount earned by men and women at some of the North East's top companies have been revealed.

Sage, Virgin Money and Cundall are among some of the first companies in the country to release their gender pay gap, which reveal the difference in the average pay and bonuses for female and male employees.

All UK firms with more than 250 employees will have to publish their pay gaps by April as part of efforts to close the divide between the sexes.

Of the 12 North East businesses that have so far published their figures, eight were found to pay the average women worker less than male members of staff, while two organisations paid women more.

Challenger bank Virgin Money so far has the higest pay gap in the region, with women paid an average of 32.5% less, though this has reduced substantially in the last 12 months.

A spokesman for Virgin Money said: "We are passionate about fairness, equality and inclusion and are committed to reducing our gender pay gap. Men and women are paid equally for doing equivalent jobs.

"Our aim is to achieve a 50:50 gender balance by 2020. As we progress towards that target, our gender pay gap will reduce."

The pay gap at Newcastle technology company Sage UK was lower, coming at 4.5%.

Sage's CEO Stephen Kelly said: "Improving gender equality at Sage is not something we view as a side project, or as a 'nice' thing to do - it's fundamental to the way that we do business. That's why, as CEO, improving our gender diversity starts with me. And looking at gender pay is an important part of this. "I'm very pleased to say that - as you will see - Sage fares better than the industry average in terms of both our gender pay data and the gender split of our people.

"However, it is not enough for Sage to be the best of a bad bunch, and we want to continue to drive up the number of colleagues from diverse backgrounds at every level of the organisation. …

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