UKFast has released its gender pay gap figures, revealing that women at the Manchester-based tech firm earn on average 0.9 per cent less than men.

The managed hosting provider has a baseline mean gender pay gap of 0 per cent. However, the mean figure rises to 0.9 per cent when shift allowance is taken into consideration.

By contrast, the UK national average pay gap is 18.4 per cent.

"Whilst 0.9 per cent is a small amount, we're working toward ensuring our overall figure for the coming year is 0 per cent and I’m confident we are on track for that," said UKFast CEO Lawrence Jones MBE.

"The gap is seen when taking shift allowance into consideration simply because, despite our best efforts, the data centre and out-of-hours support teams receiving shift allowances are predominantly male.

"To combat this, we're focused on encouraging more women into tech roles. Our work with girls' schools and education providers in the area is tackling this issue at a grass-roots level. It's a programme we started more than 10 years ago."

UKFast reaches around 60,000 children through 60 schools in Greater Manchester with Code Clubs, work experience and workshops.

The gender pay gap data requested by the government covers the average pay of men versus the average pay of women, regardless of role, something that Jones says could go further.

He added: "It is fantastic to see the government enforcing the release of this data, but is it asking the right question?

"The gender pay gap exposes the fact that there are fewer women in high-paying jobs or technical roles, rather than a pay gap for like-for-like roles. Both are issues that need tackling, particularly considering that equal pay is the law and it’s flouted by so many big businesses."

UKFast has a 50/50 gender split within its board of directors and has more women than men in senior management roles.

Businesses must publish their gender pay gap data on the government website before 4 April 2018 or face potential fines.

A number of household names have already published their data including the BBC (9.3 per cent), easyJet (45.5 per cent), Royal Bank of Scotland (36.5 per cent) and Marks and Spencer (3.3 per cent).

Apple revealed this week that men earned 5 per cent more on average than women at its UK operations. The company said the gap was due to more men in senior positions which led to higher pay, bonuses and stock.

The iPhone maker said 30 per cent of its UK employees are women, a figure which was risen from 28 per cent in 2014. It employs over 6,000 workers in the country.