We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
RSS FeedPeople Management

Gender pay gap widens at executive level

Businesses alienate top female employees, says Chartered Management Institute

Article comments

Senior female executives continue to be paid less than their male counterparts, revealing a gender pay gap of £10,546, according to the latest research released on Wednesday.

At current rates of growth it’ll take almost a century to close the gender pay gap, according to the 2011 National Management Salary Survey, which revealed that men continue to be paid more on average than women doing the same jobs (£42,441 compared to £31,895) despite salaries for women executives rising faster than men’s.

The research will disappoint those lobbying for greater representation of women on British boardrooms and adds to a growing body of research showing that little progress is being made in encouraging women to rise to executive level.

On the upside the survey found that at junior levels women earned as much as men for the first time since CMI records began. Earning an average salary of £21,969, female junior executives in the UK are currently being paid marginally more (£602) than male executives at the same level, whose average salary is £21,367.

Salary increases for both men and women fell on last year‘s survey, showing  2.1% and 2.4% rises respectively compared to 2.3% and 2.8% last year.

Petra Wilton, CMI’s director of policy and research, said: “ … this year’s salary survey demonstrates, yet again, that businesses are contributing to the persistent gender pay gap and alienating top female employees by continuing to pay men and women unequally. This kind of bad management is damaging UK businesses and must be addressed.

“It is the responsibility of every executive – both female and male, organisation and the government to help bring about change. Diversity shouldn’t be seen as something that has to be accommodated, but something that must be celebrated.

Wilton however stepped back from demanding mandatory quotas or forcing companies to reveal salaries to balance the pay gap.

“Imposing mandatory quotas and forcing organisations to reveal salaries is not the solution. We need the government to scrutinise organisational pay, demand more transparency from companies on pay bandings and publicly expose organisations found guilty of fuelling the gender pay gap,” said Wilton.

Outside London and the South East, women should look to the South West (£31,247) and Scotland (£30,652) for the best pay packets, the study found, with salaries most equal in Wales where the pay gap is £2,441.

The gender pay gap is biggest in Northern Ireland (the average male executive salary is £13,793 more than that of female executives), followed by the Midlands (£11,346) and London (£11,129).

Phillippa Williamson, CMI companion and CEO of the Serious Fraud Office, said: “There is a clear business case for equal pay; evidence shows that companies where women are well represented at every organisational level from board level down perform better. Organisational performance will be improved by ensuring high quality managers and leaders are in place; gender shouldn’t come into it.”

Sandra Pollock, national chair of CMI’s Women in Management (WiM) network said despite Lord Davies’ report calling for more women in boardrooms and the 30 Percent Club launching, “it’s disappointing to find that, at the current rate of increase it would be almost a century before men and women in executive jobs are paid equally”.

Read also:

The Editor's blog on diversity


Recommended Articles


Gender pay gap widens at executive level
People Management

Personal branding - A headhunter's perspective

Personal branding - A headhunter's perspective

'If you don't have honesty and integrity you will get found out'more ..

Microsoft's former boss Steve Ballmer steps down

The former CEO cited a busy schedule, particularly involving his LA Clippers basketball team, for his resignationmore ..

Unemployment rate hits 6-year low

But wage growth plunges to 0.2% on a year agomore ..

Embattled Serco names Aggreko boss as new CFO

Angus Cockburn will be reunited with his former boss Rupert Soames at Sercomore ..

The benefits of being a non-executive

Look for a non-executive when appointing peersmore ..

If you are still thinking about flexible working, it's too late

OPINION: Tips from an experienced chief security officer on how best to enable flexible workingmore ..

Send to a friend

Email this article to a friend or colleague:

PLEASE NOTE: Your name is used only to let the recipient know who sent the story, and in case of transmission error. Both your name and the recipient's name and address will not be used for any other purpose.

In Depth
Can finance rise to the challenge of major transformation?

Can finance rise to the challenge of major transformation?

Outdated finance processes, systems and competencies leave too many questions unanswered more ..

In Depth
Interim CFO or consultant? The pros and cons

Interim CFO or consultant? The pros and cons

Ed Harding offers an insight into the life of an interim CFO and the advantages in driving transformation more ..


* *