DESPITE two-thirds of Gloucestershire County Council staff being women and 78 per cent of top roles being filled by females, male employees are still paid an average of 8.9 per cent more.

As the council has more than 250 employees, it is required to publish a report on its gender pay gap – the difference in pay between male and female staff.

With women making up the majority of its workforce, the council has a smaller difference between median pay levels than the national rate (12.6 per cent compared to 13.1 per cent). Taken as an average, the gender pay gap is 8.9 per cent.

In the report, employees are split into four quartiles based on how much they get paid.

And although 63 per cent of its top level staff are women, an even larger proportion of women (74 per cent and 78 per cent) fill lower-paid jobs, a different which the report states is responsible for the pay differential.

“It should be noted that the gender pay gap arises from the fact that a greater percentage of women are employed in the lowest two quartiles,” the report reads.

The figures used in the report are from March 31, 2017 when the council had a total of 3,426 employees – 2,346 of whom are women.

Cllr Mark Hawthorne, leader of Gloucestershire County Council, said: “Women make up 68 per cent of the county council’s workforce.

“It is pleasing that women are well represented across all grades, including 63 per cent at senior management level.

“We’re proud of our commitment to equal opportunities with a clear policy of equal pay for the same or equivalent work.”