More women in management - but they are still paid less

Sep 20 2005 by Brian Amble Print This Article

Women in Britain get promoted more quickly than men, but are still paid less than their male colleagues despite enjoying faster pay growth, according to figures compiled for the 32nd annual National Management Salary Survey.

The survey of 20,989 individuals employed in over 200 organisations shows that the average female team leader is 37 years old, compared to an average age of 41, for men.

But at £36,712, these female managers are earning £2,674 less than their male counterparts. At director level, where the average female is 44 years old (47 for men), the pay gap is even more pronounced, at £22,144.

The survey, by the Chartered Management Institute and Remuneration Economics, shows an average earnings increase of 5.3 per cent for women managers.

This means that the average female head of department is earning £76,402 – still a 5 per cent shortfall on the male equivalent of £80,459. However, with male managers only awarded an average increase of 4.9 per cent these figures represent nine successive years that female earnings growth has outperformed men.

This year's survey also shows that womens' salaries are increasingly being supplemented by bonuses. At senior executive level, for example, female managers are receiving larger bonuses than male managers for the first time since the survey began in 1974 (£2,302 compared with £2,039).

However, the bonuses paid to women represent a lower proportion of the overall remuneration package – worth an average of 10.4 per cent of their salary, compared to 13.7 per cent, for men.

"Even in sectors and functions with a high percentage of female managers, there is a distinct gap in remuneration," said Mary Chapman, Chief Executive of the Chartered Management Institute. "This implies that women are not achieving the best paid jobs in their own field."

The level of women in management roles has trebled in 10 years
Yet despite the lack of parity in pay, the number of female managers continues to grow. At 33.1 per cent the level of women in management roles has trebled in 10 years.

Women also account for 14.4 per cent of directors (a figure that has more than doubled since 1999) and at team leader level, women now represent more than one-third (36.9 per cent).

However, in a repeat of the results of recent surveys, the total labour turnover rate for female managers is greater than that for men (9.5 per cent compared to 6.5 per cent) and within this, at 3.9 per cent, women are also more likely to resign than their male colleagues (2.5 per cent).

The research shows that women managers in the Food and Drink sector enjoy the biggest remuneration package, in real terms, earning an average total of £53,248.

However, those working in the Utilities sector have benefited from the largest average rise: an increase of 27.2 per cent on last year's earnings of £37,650. They also earn more, on average in IT than their male colleagues (£45,869 compared to £45,090) and for the third year running women managers working in a research and development role are earning more than men (£41,954 against £40,904).