Plus Dane pay gaps shows good balance, but housing association urges more to trade up


A North West Housing Association has called for more women to consider a career in trades.

Plus Dane Housing, which provides over 13,500 homes across Merseyside and Cheshire, is encouraging more women to seek jobs in what is currently a heavily male-dominated arena.

The call comes after the housing association published its Gender Pay Gap report, spanning the last three years, which shows the organisation pays its women an average of 7p more than its men.

Barbara Spicer CBE, chief executive at Plus Dane Housing, said: “We’re committed to making recruitment and salary decisions based on the skills and experience of an individual and the contribution they make to our business, not their gender, although it’s still incredibly important that we are part of closing that gender pay gap. Our pay gap figures show that we appear to be getting this right.”

“While we’re delighted that our figures reflect our stance on equal opportunities and pay for women, as a sector there is still a lot of work to be done to ensure that we are completely inclusive. Analysis of our own demographics shows there is a gender skew when it comes to trades roles. Our recruitment processes are currently carried out purely on the basis of suitability for the role, and are not driven by any factor relating to diversity. This approach to recruitment can only achieve so much when the supply of candidates is so clearly male-dominated. As an organisation, and as a sector, we must explore what can be done to promote skills in leadership and trades for females and ensure that women do not feel discouraged to pursue careers in these types of roles.”

Last year Plus Dane recruited two female apprentices into its trades team and both have been a roaring success.

Chloe O’Sullivan-Morgan, a female apprentice electrician at Plus Dane, said: “When I finished my A-Levels I didn’t really know what I wanted to do next. I wanted to try and find a career that kept me busy, kept my mind active and that would always be in demand. A trade felt like the perfect fit, plus it gives me practical skills too. I love going in to work every day and really appreciate the opportunity I’ve been given here at Plus Dane.”

“Some people still aren’t on board with the idea of a woman doing a ‘man’s job’. However, as a woman in trades, I don’t let that hold me back or weaken my motivation, if anything it encourages me and makes me even more determined to achieve my goals! I’d love to set an example for future generations of girls and show them that there is no invisible barrier stopping them from making a career out of a trade. My advice to any women out there would be to sign up to a beginner’s class at their local college and at least give it a try.”

You read Plus Dane’s Gender Pay Gap Report here:, or for information about any vacancies the organisation has, visit