The gap between number of men and the number of women who earn over £100,000 has increased by 23 per cent in the last five years, according to a new study.
The research by law firm Wilsons found more than 625,000 men receive at least a six-figure salary compared with 155,000 women.
Wilsons says the pay gap is partly explained by women having time out to have babies and argues that increased financial incentives for sharing parental leave between mothers and fathers could help close the gender pay gap.
Stephen Oxley, Wilsons’ business development director, said: “In order to achieve a level playing field, more needs to be done to ensure new mothers don’t fall behind on the career ladder as a consequence of taking maternity leave. The widening gender pay gap raised concerns for businesses, which could miss out from a lack of talented women in their top tiers of management.
“Businesses are going to come under increasing pressure to address gender pay gaps. If every company in the UK became more willing to implement flexible working and a better division of properly paid parental leave, it could help considerably to even the playing field.”