Women working in HR are still lagging far behind their male colleagues in
the pay stakes, the latest research reveals.
The Personnel and Payroll Salary Survey 2002 finds the pay gap is widest in
senior management where 42 per cent of male HR directors earn more than £50,000
against a mere 8 per cent of their female counterparts.
However, the survey of 760 HR professionals shows that inequality in the
profession spreads across all grades with just under three-quarters of women
earning less than £30,000 compared to only 48 per cent of men.
The research by Gee Publishing also finds that not only are women paid less
than men but they are also less likely to be promoted to the more senior roles.
In all, 79 per cent of respondents were women, but only 50 per cent of HR
directors are women.
Author of the report Cherry Park believes one of the reasons for the pay gap
is that men are more aggressive in chasing pay increases than women. "This
survey suggest that women working in HR are less successful at convincing
employers of their true worth than male colleagues."
Sue Kavanagh, HR director North Europe for Carlson Wagonlit Travel,
commented: "These findings surprise me – particularly in an area such as
HR that historically has been a strong bastion for women.
"One of the reasons may be that a lot of women work their way up
through HR whereas men are more likely to come in to the profession with
experience from other functions," she said.
Tracy Seymour, director of HR consultancy HR Central, thinks part of the
reason for the pay gap is that some employers still prefer to recruit men in
senior roles because of the belief that their careers are less likely to be
interrupted by families.
By Ben Willmott