‘Female managers work for free for three months’

Female managers across the UK are working for free for over three months a year, according to calculations by the Chartered Management Institute and XpertHR.

Female manager


The analysis comes ahead of this year’s Equal Pay Day and is based on figures showing female managers face an average gender pay gap of 26.8%. Equal Pay Day marks the day when women effectively work for free due to the difference between male and female wages, but the research shows that for managers it falls earlier in the year – on the 25th September 2018.

The CMI and XpertHR say the large gender pay gap that female managers still face is being driven by the under representation of women at the top levels of management which has shown no signs of improvement: 75% of Directors are male and just 25% female, with men earning nearly £35k more on average than their female counterparts. At the bottom in entry level management roles women represent 66% of the workforce compared to 34% of men.

The CMI has called this state of affairs the “glass pyramid” and believes business must fix the “broken windows” of gender bias that impede women’s career progression.

Improvements in the Gender Pay Gap

CMI’s Chief Executive Ann Francke says: “Although in recent years we have seen some improvements in the Gender Pay Gap, we need to dramatically up the pace. There are huge benefits to ensuring companies promote workplace equality – with McKinsey estimating that it could add £150bn to the UK economy by 2025. If we don’t act now, we risk further damage to the economy, and given the uncertainties of Brexit we need this now more than ever.”

She added: “Male managers are 40% more likely to be promoted than women – so the gender pay gap among managers still stands at a staggering 26.8%. CMI strongly believes that in addition to reporting transparency, businesses must follow through with action plans to support female talent in the management pipeline. Mentoring and sponsorship are key to tackling this persistent gender pay gap head-on.”

“Even in top FTSE 250 companies in the UK only 8% of companies reported on progress against their board’s gender diversity objective. All organisations need to vastly improve gender equality in the workplace, especially among managers.”

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