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Women managers are effectively working for free nearly two hours every day, according to new gender pay gap data.
The findings of an annual survey of 72,000 UK managers published by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and salary specialist XpertHR reveal that women working in equivalent full-time roles earn 22% less than men, meaning that they are unpaid for 1h 40m a day – a total of 57 working days every year.
Analysis of the data from the 2015 National Management Salary Survey highlights pay imbalances across the UK’s professional workforce. For men and women of all ages and in all professional roles the gender pay gap now stands at £8,524, with men earning an average of £39,136 and women earning £30,612. In 2014, the pay gap stood at £9,069, or 23%.
The pay gap rises to £14,943 for senior or director-level staff, with men earning an average of £138,699 compared to the average for women of £123,756. The survey also shows women managers are missing out across all levels when it comes to bonuses, with the average man’s bonus of £4,898 almost twice that of the average woman’s bonus of £2,531.
The survey data shows that the pay gap becomes wider as women grow older. Women aged 26-35 are paid 6% less than their male colleagues, rising to 20% for women aged 36-45. The gap increases to 35% for women aged 46-60, equivalent to working 681 hours for free compared to their male colleagues. For women and men in their 60s the pay gap expands to 38%.
Not only are older women earning less, but there are also fewer of them in executive positions, says the survey. Even though women comprise 67% of the workforce in entry-level roles and continue to outnumber men in junior management roles, female representation drops to 43% at the level of senior management. Just 29% of director-level posts are held by women.
Ann Francke, chief executive of the CMI, said: “Working for free two hours a day is unacceptable. While some progress is being made, it’s clear from our research that Lord Davies is right to target the executive pipeline. Having more women in senior executive roles will pave the way for others and ensure they’re paid the same as their male colleagues at every stage of their careers.”
Mark Crail, content director of XpertHR, added: “An entire generation has now worked its way through from school leaver to retirement since the first equal pay legislation came into effect in 1970, yet the gender pay gap persists, and many employers still prefer not to know just how bad it is in their organisation rather than getting to grips with the data and doing something about it. HR and reward specialists in larger companies have a special responsibility to get this firmly on to the senior management agenda and to develop the plans needed to close the gap.”
The survey also shows the pay gap is widest for employees of organisations with between 250 and 999 staff, with women earning on average 27% less working for these employers – making them 5% worse off than even the national average. Next year legislation will come into effect meaning larger companies have to publish their gender pay breakdown. The CMI has developed a set of eight best practice principles that set out a framework for gender pay reporting that is likely to go beyond any legal requirements.