Hampshire's biggest provider of affordable homes has eliminated the gender pay gap among its 850 employees.

Vivid Housing has announced that "steady progress" over the past few years has enabled it to reduce the pay differential between male and female members of staff from 13.5 per cent to zero.

A company spokesperson said: "For every £1 earned by men, women earned exactly the same. This is a huge achievement, of which we’re incredibly proud.

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"Through a rigorous set of benchmarked salaries for each role, we’re committed to rewarding and paying our staff fairly, and making sure there’s no divide in our workforce.

"Our employees should be paid according to the job they do, not a characteristic like gender or ethnicity.

"We value and recognise the importance of a diverse workforce to deliver our business objectives. It’s our aim to have an equal representation of gender at all levels and similar roles across our business.

"We know we still have some improvements to make in terms of hiring more women into certain roles.

"For example, there are far fewer women working in our trade roles, but through our inclusive recruitment and unconscious bias training we want to ensure we’re hiring as many women as we can into these roles.

"We currently have 15 (22 per cent) women in trade management roles.

"Supporting women in finding development opportunities to step up and ready themselves for managerial and leadership progression is also a big priority, so we’ll continue improving our approaches to do so."

Duncan Short, group resources director at VIVID added: "Having a 0 per cent gender pay gap is something we feel is a great achievement."

Vivid says it has also made "real progress" in reducing the ethnicity pay gap to 4.3 per cent.

"We’ll keep promoting our inclusive culture and ensure Vivid remains a great place to work," said the company spokesperson.

Vivid has 34,000 properties in Hampshire and the neighbouring counties of Berkshire, Surrey, and West Sussex.

The award-winning business is planning to build 90 homes at Newgate Lane, Fareham. An outline proposal by Vivid and Bargate was approved by government inspectors after the borough council failed to determine the application in time.

The developers have now submitted a more detailed scheme, which must also be approved before work can start.