There are ten women working part-time jobs at Birmingham council for every one man.

New figures have revealed that nearly half (48 per cent) of the total workforce at the town hall is made up of women in part-time roles.

Experts said the data reflects the "shocking” persistence of the gender imbalance in government and showed how women were particularly vulnerable to cuts caused by austerity policies.

The data, published by the ONS, shows there were a total of 26,729 full-time and part-time workers employed by Birmingham council between July and September 2018.

Some 12,467 of those were in full-time jobs, of whom 7,660 were women (61 per cent) and 4,807 were men.

A further 14,262 were in part-time jobs - and women made up 12,935 of those, or 91 per cent.

Birmingham's skyline

That percentage has remained roughly static in recent years, having stood at 91 per cent between July and September 2017 and 87 per cent in the same quarter of 2016.

Birmingham mirrors the national trend.

Across all councils in England and Wales, women in part-time roles make up 47 per cent of the total workforce.

Figures show that there were 1.4m people employed full-time and part-time by councils.

Some 88 per cent of the 755,356 part-time workers were women, or 667,380 in total.

This means that there are eight women working part-time jobs for every man.

 

Harini Iyengar, Women’s equality Party spokesperson for Equal Representation said: "These figures reflect the shocking gender imbalance that persists in government and business across the UK.

"This underemployment is a predictable but avoidable outcome of austerity policies, which have hit women especially hard.

“As they feel the pinch of increasing childcare costs, are forced to take on unpaid care work to fill growing gaps in our social infrastructure, or are overlooked for hiring or promotion in a business world which still regards male employees as a ‘safer’ option in times of economic difficulty, many women are pushed into part-time work or out of work entirely.

"Large cuts to local council budgets in particular often have a double impact on women. As mothers or carers they rely on many council services and, because of the high proportion of women who are employed in the public sector, they are also very vulnerable to pay freezes and mass redundancies.

“The Centre For Local Economic Strategies found in 2014 that women’s employment in local government had fallen by over 250,000 since 2010.

“Worsening economic forecasts, uncertainties over Brexit and further brutal cuts have created an insecure working environment for many women, whose opportunities to work are often already limited by caring responsibilities.

"At the Women’s Equality Party, we are campaigning for public and private sector employers to adopt working practices that allow women to progress to their full potential at work, and men to meet their full potential in family life.

“This includes flexible working and shared parental leave. We also recognise the broader context of a society that still very much regards caring as ‘women’s work’ yet leaves them unsupported in taking this on.

“Councils need better funding from central government but they also need to reassess their priorities - investment in social infrastructure creates twice as many jobs as the same investment in physical infrastructure and also supports women to remain in the workforce and to work full time if they so wish."