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International Women’s Day: pledge to close gender pay gap


Staff at Stroud District Council will be marking International Women’s Day with a series of events to be held throughout March.

Activities include a talk by the Friends of Stroud Women’s Refuge, the council’s charity of the year; council apprentices will interview female colleagues and a new women’s group will be launched.

International Women’s Day (IWD) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. It campaigns to accelerate women’s equality, marked annually on March 8.

The IWD theme for 2023 is #EmbraceEquity and aims to highlight why equal opportunities aren’t enough.

“It’s vital that organisations embrace equity as well as equality,” explained SDC Chief Executive, Kathy O’Leary.

“Equality means giving the same resources or opportunities to everyone, whereas equity recognizes that each person has different circumstances and gives them what they need to reach an equal outcome.

“Our challenge is to ensure all our members of staff have what they need to be successful.”

The Council publishes a gender pay gap report annually and latest figures show the mean gender pay gap is 11.61% and the median is 16.13%. On average men at SDC are paid more than women, though not for doing the same jobs, largely because there are more men in management roles and more women in lower paid administrative and part time roles.

The council is working hard to address this in a number of ways, including an internal leadership development programme designed for future leaders – 50% of the current cohort is female. As well as a female Chief Executive, Stroud District Council has a female Leader and Deputy Leader.

Female colleagues are also supported through a managing menopause in the workplace policy which will ensure women are supported as they progress their careers, and the council has a range of family-friendly policies including enhanced maternity, paternity and adoption pay, shared parental leave and flexible working practices. Equality, diversity, and inclusion is one of the key objectives in SDC’s Council Plan, with targeted support for those who experience the most disadvantage in our communities.

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