Women in the West Midlands are still earning an average £100 a week less than their male counterparts – with the 28-40 age bracket branded the ‘danger zone.’

And the gender pay divide is widening, according to pro-female campaigners Opportunity Now, from Business in the Community.

A call for action over the pay gap comes as the Office for National Statistics’ Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings reveals that in 2013 women in the West Midlands earned an average of £109.90 less per week than men.

The survey also showed that the median gender pay gap across the UK had increased to 10 per cent this year from 9.5 per cent in 2012.

Kathryn Nawrockyi, Director of Opportunity Now, said: “It’s shocking that in 2013 women in the West Midlands continue to be paid less than men. Opportunity Now believes firmly in fair reward and recognition for all at work, irrespective of gender, and we’re working closely with our member organisations to achieve this for women across the UK.

“One of the reasons women often lose out on pay is that their rate of promotion slows compared to men in the 28-40 age range, and that this is also the age where many women drop out of the workforce altogether.

“That’s why we launched Project 28-40 to examine the nature of women’s ambitions and how we can help women to achieve their goals, whatever they may be.” The survey is available at www.project2840.com.