State of the Region Report 2021

New research from West Yorkshire Combined Authority highlights gender pay gap and gender equality challenges

West Yorkshire has a 12% gender pay gap, women are more likely to be paid below the Real Living Wage and two-thirds of companies in the region had no female directors. Those are among the findings in a new ‘State of the Region’ report, commissioned by the Mayor of West Yorkshire and released today by West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

The report also analysed a range of economic, social, and environmental factors and will be conducted annually in the future as part of the ongoing data the Combined Authority uses to guide the organisation’s decision making. The intelligence is vital to work done in the region to improve many aspects of people’s lives.

In the report, West Yorkshire’s gender pay gap is calculated as the difference between men and women’s average hourly earnings, as a proportion of men’s average hourly earnings.  The region’s 12% gender pay gap in average earnings is below the 17% national average. 

The Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin, said:   

‘I commissioned this report with a particular focus on women and girls. The results show that the gap between employment rates for males and females in West Yorkshire has narrowed, compared to the national average. While this is great news, there is still so much more to be done to achieve parity.  

There is a significant pay gap of 12% in median earnings in the region. 66% of companies in West Yorkshire have no female representation at director level and, despite the indications that women are more likely to be highly qualified than men, the evidence suggests this is not reflected in pay or employment rates.  

This gender inequality further affects women who are disabled or from an ethnic minority group. These women can face “double-disadvantage” in terms of their likelihood of being in employment. I am a passionate advocate for women and girls and want to make sure everyone in our region, no matter what their background, can succeed.’ 

‘State of the Region’ shows two-thirds (66%) of West Yorkshire companies had no women directors on their boards (slightly above the national average of 63%).  The remainder of companies have varying degrees of female representation. Just 12% of West Yorkshire companies have gender balanced boards and 15% have all female boards Both figures are just below the national average. 

The research also shows the gender pay gap is due to women in West Yorkshire being much more likely than men to be paid below the Real Living Wage. The figures show 25% of the region’s jobs undertaken by females paid below this level, compared with 16% of male jobs. 

The ‘State of the Region’ report contains more details related to the life and work of women and girls in the region. Its non-gender-specific findings show West Yorkshire’s economy was growing faster than the UK average (prior to the pandemic). Also, West Yorkshire’s CO2 emissions were below the national average but need to reduce faster in order to hit zero carbon emissions target by 2038 and life expectancy for all in the region is below the national average.  

An interactive ‘dashboard’ which displays the State of the Region’s key findings is available to view. It allows anyone to look at the data, in greater detail, in a visually accessible style.

View our dashboard