Women Hit by £400,000 Gender Pay Gap Over Course of Careers

CMI LogoThe Chartered Management Institute’s annual Gender Salary Survey for 2012 is once again, uncovering the realities of persistent gender pay gap across the UK. As these issues continue to take center stage in the recent media and rises to the top of the Government agenda, our report provides a deeper look into the current trends and what needs to be done to overcome these challenges.

The key findings from the 2012 report:

Lifetime Earnings Gap: The average female executive suffers a lifetime earnings gap of £423,390 when compared to a male worker with an identical career path
Pay Gap: The average gender pay gap for UK executives stands at £10,060
Bonuses: Women receive less than half what men are awarded in bonuses – the average bonus for a male executive was £7,496, compared to £3,726 for a female executive
Redundancies: 4.3% of female executives were made redundant, compared to 3.2% of male executives. The number of women losing their jobs has almost doubled since the last survey from 2.2% in 2011
Top jobs: While women now represent 57% of the executive workforce, a much smaller percentage have made it into top roles – just 40% of department heads are female and only one in four chief executives (24%)

This year’s survey also reveals that the gender pay gap extends to annual rewards. At the 91 participating employers providing data on the payment of bonuses.

Women receive less than half what men are awarded in monetary terms – the average bonus for a male executive was £7,496, compared to £3,726 for a female executive.

This picture gets worse as women and men progress in their careers with 50% of males at director level receiving bonuses compared to 36% of females. At £65,000, the average bonus paid to a male director was £7,000 more than that awarded to a female director.

News on the nature of the ‘management pipeline’ is also mixed. The figures show that the percentage of women in the executive workforce now stands at 57%. However, while at junior level the majority (69%) of executive workers are now female, a much smaller percentage have made it into top roles – just 40% of department heads are female and only one in four chief executives (24%).

Gender Salary SurveyAnn Francke, CMI Chief Executive, said: “A lot of businesses have been focused on getting more women on boards but we’ve still got a lot to do on equal pay and equal representation in top executive roles. Women make up almost three out of four at the bottom of the ladder but only one out of four at the top. This lack of a strong talent pipeline has to change, and fast. Allowing these types of gender inequalities to continue is precisely the kind of bad management that we need to stamp out. Companies are missing out on the full range of management potential at a time when we need to be doing everything we can to boost economic growth.”

The labour turnover data also shows that more women than men fell foul of job cuts in the 12 month period between August 2011 and August 2012 – 4.3% of female executives were made redundant, compared to 3.2% of male executives.

This difference grows as women move up the ranks – twice as many female directors were made redundant compared to male directors (7.4% compared to 3.1%). The number of women losing their jobs has almost doubled since the last survey from 2.2% in 2011. In contrast, more men than women left their jobs of their own volition – 14.2% of men walked away from positions in the 12-month period compared to 12.2% of women.

Francke continued: “We need an immediate and collaborative approach to setting things straight. The Government should demand more transparency from companies on pay, naming and shaming organisations that are perpetuating inequality and celebrating those that achieve gender equality in the executive suite and the executive pay packet. The new plans to require companies to report on the number of women in senior positions are also welcome. Government should move ahead with plans to reform parental leave, which will remove one of the barriers that makes it impractical for women to play a greater a part in the workforce.”

“But the issue isn’t going to be resolved by legislation alone. Employers need to take action to change corporate cultures. Development opportunities such as mentoring and qualifications have been proven to be highly successful in helping women build the confidence and skills needed to realise their potential.”

“Employers failing to recognise this are missing a trick – create an environment where your staff can thrive, are diverse and are paid fairly, and your business will thrive too.”

Baroness Prosser, Deputy Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said: “The gender pay and opportunities gaps are intrinsically linked. The opportunities gap leads to the lack of advance for women through the executive pipeline and this in turn provides for the gender pay gap. The onus is squarely on employers to redress the balance, but female executives should also look to make the most of the practical support available to them, whether from the Equality and Human Rights Commission or through professional bodies like the CMI and their Women in Management Networks.”

CMI has worked with top female leaders and its own experts to create a pool of free online resources for women and businesses, available at www.managers.org.uk/paygap. As well as tips from successful women on how to get ahead and tackle gender inequality in the workplace, this combines guidance for employers on topics from coaching and mentoring to flexible working. Practical advice on offer to women includes negotiating effectively, empowerment and marketing yourself.

CMI’s Women in Management (WiM) network works nationally to help address key challenges currently affecting women managers, including opening up opportunities for career progression. As well as offering a supportive environment for managers at all levels and in all sectors, it provides impartial career advice and a wide range of networking opportunities.

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