WOMEN earn on average 17.1 per cent less per hour than men in Oxfordshire organisations, the latest gender pay gap data reveals.

The gender pay gap is a measure of the difference between male and female average earnings across an organisation, and is expressed as a percentage of male earnings.

The data, covering the 2018/19 tax year, shows the difference in average hourly pay in Oxfordshire is 2.9 per cent wider than the national average of 14.2 per cent, and is getting worse - having increased by 0.4 per cent from the previous year.

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Oxfordshire organisations are also falling behind on the median hourly pay, which compares the difference in earnings between the man and woman in the middle of the organisation’s salary range.

The average median hourly pay gap between men and women in the county is 14.1 per cent, wider than the national median of 11.9 per cent.

One of Oxfordshire’s companies with the widest gender pay gap is international asset management firm Invesco, whose UK headquarters are based in Henley-on-Thames.

Women at the company earn an average of 42 per cent per hour less than men, and only 13 per cent of the top jobs, defined as the highest quarter of the salary range, are filled by women.

Doug Sharp, a regional head at Invesco, said: “Invesco is genuinely committed to achieving greater gender balance in every area of our organisation, but we acknowledge that we are not where we want to be yet.

“We have a number of initiatives underway that we are confident will help us increase the number of women in senior and more highly-paid roles, but this will take time.”

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Mr Sharp said Invesco is running training for managers on unconscious bias and getting input from female colleagues to improve working practices.

The gender pay gap differs from unequal pay, which is where a female worker is paid less for the same job – this has been illegal since 1970.

Public organisations, charities and private companies with more than 250 employees must report the data by the end of the tax year.

Susie Rose, the founder of networkingwomen.org.uk ,which offers business support for women in Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire, said she was 'disappointed' by the latest figures.

"The country as a whole needs to do so much more to educate employers on supporting women in the workplace, they are often the ones juggling other commitments such as childcare or caring for family member," she added.

"The women who come to my network or I’ve worked with who’ve left corporate and started their own business or are still in high level positions, often feel they are still expected to ‘act like’ men and dull down their natural instincts and styles in order to be accepted into the ‘boys club or be taken seriously by management."

Oxfordshire County Council also reported its figures, with an average gender pay gap of 3.9 per cent, and zero per cent difference between bonus earnings for men and women.

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Deputy leader of the council, Judith Heathcoat, said: “I am exceptionally pleased with the findings within our publication of the county council’s gender pay gap.

She added: “The county council has a well-established and nationally recognised job evaluation scheme and this means that we can and do assess not only objectively but fairly, the value and worth of job roles.”

Find out how other companies performed by visiting https://gender-pay-gap.service.gov.uk/