Gender pay gap persists among executives

The average female executive earns an average of £423,390 less throughout their career compared to a male worker with an identical career path, according to research by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).

The 2012 National management salary survey, which took data from 38,843 employees working in executive positions in UK organisations, found that the current gap between male and female pay at management level is £10,060 a year.

The research found that the average male in an executive role earned a basic salary of £40,325 over the 12 months to August 2012, compared to £30,265 for a female in the same type of role.

Although female junior executives earn marginally more (£363 a year) than males at junior levels for the second year running (£21,491 compared to £21,128), the gender pay gap remains substantial at the opposite end of the executive career ladder, with female directors earning an average basic salary of £127,257, £14,689 less than the male director average of £141,946.

The 2012 survey also found that the gender pay gap extends to annual reward. Among the 91 participating organisations that provided data on the payment of bonuses, women received less than half of that awarded to men in monetary terms. The average bonus for a male executive was £7,496, compared to £3,726 for a female executive.

As women and men progress in their careers, 50% of males at director level receive bonuses compared to 36% of females. The average bonus paid to a male director was £7,000 more than that awarded to a female director.

Ann Francke, chief executive at the CMI, said: “A lot of organisations 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. Organisations 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.”

Baroness Prosser, deputy chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, added: “The gender pay and opportunities gaps are intrinsically linked.

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“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 the Women in Management Networks.”