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Seeking pay equality across the board in Lancashire

Journalist Carrie Gracie outside BBC Broadcasting House in London after she turned down a �45,000 rise, describing the offer as a "botched solution" to the problem of unequal pay at the BBC. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday January 8, 2018. Gracie said she told the corporation she wanted equality, rather than more money, and was determined not to help the organisation "perpetuate a failing pay structure by discriminating against women". See PA story MEDIA Gracie. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
Journalist Carrie Gracie outside BBC Broadcasting House in London after she turned down a �45,000 rise, describing the offer as a "botched solution" to the problem of unequal pay at the BBC. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday January 8, 2018. Gracie said she told the corporation she wanted equality, rather than more money, and was determined not to help the organisation "perpetuate a failing pay structure by discriminating against women". See PA story MEDIA Gracie. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

The gender pay gap has dropped to almost half the national average in the North West’s technology and digital industries, new research has found.

Manchester Digital’s Salary Survey which looked at a cross-section of the region’s top businesses, revealed that women are paid on average six per cent less than men in a cross-section of roles and seniority levels.

‘It is crucial that we uphold an inclusive 
atmosphere’

This dropped to a gap of four per cent when taking personal bonuses into account.

The findings comes amid a storm as BBC journalist Carrie Gracie resigned from her her senior role at the broadcaster in protest over unequal pay.

The Manchester Digital Salary Survey found that in monetary terms, wage differences amount to an average annual difference of £2,366 between men and women.

However, women’s personal bonuses were in total 78 per cent higher than men in equivalent positions (£1,607.09 vs. £900.41).

The number of women in top-level positions in the digital and technology industry was also relatively positive; 29 per cent of the most senior roles are held by female staff, in comparison to a UK average of 22 per cent .

For women who do occupy such top spots, earning potential is far higher for the North West digital industries. A female senior level project manager, for example, earns on average £5,458 (nine per cent) higher than her male counterpart.

Katie Gallagher, managing director at Manchester Digital – the trade body for digital and technology companies in the region – said: “Whilst there is clearly still some way to go to reach full equality in companies across the UK, it’s extremely encouraging that the North West’s digital industries are pulling ahead in terms of gender parity.

“This is particularly relevant during a time when the sector is suffering from a sustained skills shortage. It is crucial that we uphold an inclusive atmosphere in which people of all genders, backgrounds and ethnicities feel empowered to join the tech industry.”

Meanwhile, another new survey has found that pay for people working in HR roles in Preston lags behind London by as much as 24 per cent.

The annual HR Salary Survey by pay and benefits experts Croner Reward found the average median salary for an HR professional in Preston is £44,085.

This is compared to a median average salary of £51,273 in the North West, £47,919 nationally and £77,149 in Central London.

Yesterday it was revealed Carrie Gracie turned down a £45,000 rise, describing the offer as a “botched solution” to the problem of unequal pay at the BBC.

Gracie said she told the corporation she wanted equality, rather than more money, and was determined not to help the organisation “perpetuate a failing pay structure by discriminating against women”.

Following her very public resignation as BBC China editor, Gracie has received much support, including from colleagues both male and female.

Appearing on BBC Woman’s Hour, she said: “My pay, as you may know, is £135,000. The BBC offered to raise that to £180,000; however, I was not interested in more money.

“I was interested in equality and I kept saying to my managers that I didn’t need more money, I just needed to be made equal and that can be done in a variety of ways.”

Gracie, who was interviewed by freelance journalist Jane Martinson due to broadcasting impartiality rules preventing show host Jane Garvey from doing so, said she became frustrated by the pay rise offer made last October.