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Tuesday, December 30, 1997 Published at 06:58 GMT


More jobs, less cash for British women

Women are still falling behind men in the salary stakes

British women are paid around 20% less than their male colleagues, even though they are taking most of all professional jobs, a survey says.

The study by the London Chamber of Commerce and the University of Westminster says almost 70% of the 450,000 professional jobs created between 1981 and 1996 went to women.

Nationwide, women earn 80% of male salaries. But in London, they get only 77% of pay packets taken home by men.

Professional women in London are more likely than those outside the capital to break into male territory like law and accountancy.

The chief executive of the London Chamber of Commerce, Simon Sperryn, said: "Women have made enormous strides to tap into the professional jobs market, especially in London, although pay differentials remain."

He added that the Government's decision to set up a Cabinet sub-committee on women's issues might lead to a national childcare strategy and "family-friendly" employment policies.

"Women are a vitally important part of the workforce and have proved adept at competing in the professional jobs market," he said.

Over the last 10 years, women have increasingly been abandoning traditional stay-at-home roles, either working or looking for work.

In 1984 there were 66% in this category, compared with 71% in 1996.

Within London, the art of networking through personal contacts is the most popular way of getting a new job, while in the rest of the country it is done through advertisements, said the survey.

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