Chartered Management Institute research: Gender pay gap closes at junior executive level

Female executives are earning as much as their male counterparts at junior executive level, according to research by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).

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.

However, the 2011 National management salary survey, which polled 34,158 UK executives, also found that equal pay for male and female executives across all seniority levels remains a long way off. Men continue to be paid more on average than women doing the same jobs (£42,441 compared to £31,895), revealing a gender pay gap of £10,546.

This persistent gap means that, despite the fact that salaries for female executives as a whole are currently increasing faster than those of their male counterparts (female salaries increased by 2.4% during the 12 months between February 2010 to February 2011, a 0.3% higher rate of increase than for male salaries), if male and female salaries continue to increase at current rates, it would be 2109 before the average salary for female executives catches up with that of their male peers.

At £10,546, this year’s pay gap is slightly bigger than the gap of £10,031 which was revealed last year in the 2010 survey.

In addition, salary increases for both male and female executives have fallen since last year‘s survey. In the 2010 survey male salaries were found to have risen by 2.3% and female salaries by 2.8%, whereas this year’s figures are 2.1% and 2.4%, respectively. The difference between female and male pay rises has, therefore, narrowed year-on-year.

Petra Wilton, director of policy and research at the CMI, said: “While CMI is delighted that junior female executives have caught up with males at the same level, 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 should not be seen as something that has to be accommodated, but something that must be celebrated.

“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 organisations on pay bandings, and publicly expose organisations found guilty of fuelling the gender pay gap.”

Does this represent real progress for the gender pay gap?

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