Hopson was recently appointed Asda’s first female regional managing director when she took charge of Asda’s north division (The Grocer, August 7, p12).
The DTI said that on average, women in full-time work are paid 18% less than men. Among part-time workers, the gap is greater, standing at 40%.
The government is working on several initiatives to address the causes of the pay gap. It is encouraging the Equal Opportunities Commission to conduct equal pay audits on larger companies. The Women and Work Commission expects to recommend action in the autumn of 2005.
Patricia Hewitt, secretary of state for trade and industry, said: “With women’s pay almost 20% behind men’s - and double that for part-time work - women are rightly demanding a better deal in the workplace.”
Hewitt said that was why Baroness Prosser, the chairman of the Women’s National Commission, had been chosen to chair the WWC.