Johnston Press has announced plans to ensure half of its senior staff are female in a bid to address gender imbalance at the company.
The regional publisher has launched a series of initiatives aimed at tackling the issue after making its gender pay gap public.
JP’s figures showed there was a 15.1pc deficit in women’s mean hourly rate compared to men’s, while the median deficit was 13.9pc.
The company says it has given itself a self-imposed five-year deadline to achieve a 50/50 gender balance in its senior leadership team.
Currently there are 59 male members of the team, in comparison to 23 females, and JP says this has influenced the gender pay gap in real terms.
The company has also set up a gender pay review group, to be headed up by group financial controller Cathy Southgate and over seen by chair of the board Camilla Rhodes.
JP chief executive Ashley Highfield, pictured, said: “A healthy business has a diverse talent pool at every level. This report has shown that we don’t have the balance right and has identified where we have some specific issues.
“While such issues are not unique to Johnston Press, we must do our utmost to ensure equality of opportunity for all staff.
“Over the coming months, the gender pay review group will analyse the issues fully and identify the changes this company needs to make to address them. This will be an inclusive process and the Review Group will aim to consult widely with staff. We will aim to update you regularly on progress and how you can get involved.”