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Hackney women earn more than male co-workers

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Hackney is one of only four areas in the UK where women earn more than men, according to new figures released by the Office of National Statistics.

The median annual salary for women in Hackney is higher than that of men. On average, the annual income for women in the borough is £30,760, compared with £30,565 for men, a difference of 0.6 per cent.

Nationwide, the overall gap in salary earnings between men and women decreased from 10.5 per cent in April 2011 to 9.6 per cent in 2012, but the majority of men still make more than their female colleagues.

The success of Hackney women as higher wage earners has been debated by leaders of the community.

Diane Abbott, MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington attributes the numbers to education.

She said: “We all know that if you are to earn a good wage you need a good education. Girls in Hackney’s schools have been doing better and better in terms of attainment in recent years and this now appears to be paying dividends.”

But Dr Jane Holgate, a senior lecturer in work and employment relations from Stoke Newington, argues that the dominance of public sector employment in the area might be behind the figures.

In a statement to the Hackney Gazette, Holgate said: “The main employers in the borough are the council and Homerton Hospital which, because they are public sector, have more pay equality.”

Another possibility is the higher rate of unemployment among men in Hackney. The ONS released research earlier this year that revealed 9.2 per cent of men in the borough claim Job Seeker’s Allowance compared to 5.5 per cent of women.

Hackney also had the highest rate of male claimants in London in February 2012.

Siobhan Lockhart

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