More women need to “rock the boat” if they are to achieve equal pay with men, Karren Brady has said.
The businesswoman, who is vice-chairman of Premier League football club West Ham United, is presenting a Channel 5 documentary titled Why Do Men Earn More Than Women?.
The programme explores the different reasons behind the gender pay gap.
Speaking on ITV’s Loose Women, Baroness Brady said: “I think there’s an issue that women have this fear factor where they don’t have the confidence to ask, and they are sort of grateful for the job and do not want to rock the boat.
“But we need to get more women rocking that boat.”
Brady, who also stars on The Apprentice alongside Lord Alan Sugar, told the Loose Women panel 7% of women negotiate a pay rise, compared with 57% of men.
She also said the majority of women accept jobs before asking what it pays, while men tend to ask what it pays before accepting it.
The 48-year-old added: “So there’s something to do with attitudes… about confidence… about demanding what you are worth.”
Brady, who has two children, said since making the documentary she believes the biggest barrier to equal pay was motherhood.
She said: “When you have a child you have to come out of the workplace. In finance, women are paid 40% less than men because of these career gaps they have to take.
“And the biggest barrier to women who have children and want a career is high quality, affordable childcare. And that is a real problem we have to solve in this country so women can get back into the careers that they want.”
Brady was then asked how long she took for maternity leave, and replied, “not enough”.
She added: “I will say, I wish someone had said to me 22 years ago when I was having my daughter that a career lasts a lifetime and actually having that time off and working for a boss who appreciates that you need to have the time off and that family is everything, is really important.”