Female HR managers earn £4,500 less than their male counterparts – equivalent to a gender pay gap of 10% – research by the Chartered Management Institute and XpertHR has found.
Across all management roles in UK businesses as a whole, however, the gap is even wider. Female managers earn on average £12,000 less than their male colleagues. This is a gender pay gap of 26.8%, according to the CMI and XpertHR.
Gender pay gap
This is the first year that this research on management pay has been published taking into account the new gender pay gap reporting rules, which require all companies with more than 250 employees to disclose the difference between average male and female hourly pay by April next year.
The CMI and XpertHR note that, so far, only 77 of 7,850 UK companies to which the new regulations apply have published their gender pay gap.
The gender pay gap is particularly high in finance jobs, where male managers earn 33.9% more than their female counterparts, equivalent to a salary difference of more than £18,000.
It is lowest in IT, where male managers out-earn female colleagues by just over 8%, or £3,758.
The new research also found that women are more likely to fill junior management positions than men (66% compared with 34%) and that 26% of director level roles are filled by women, compared with 74% for men.
For women who do progress into senior roles, the pay gap is even wider – at £34,144. Senior male managers earn an average of £175,673, while women at the same level earn an average of £141,529.
Bonus payments show dramatic gender disparity, according to CMI and XpertHR. Across all managers, the gender bonus gap is 46.9%. At the very top, the average bonus for a CEO is £89,230 compared with just £14,945 for a woman – an 83% pay gap.
XpertHR content director Mark Crail said: “We have always known that the gender pay gap appears to widen with seniority. But the results we are publishing today enable us to quantify the gap using a large volume of reliable, checked and verified pay data, drawn directly from employer payroll systems.
“Some people have tried to explain the gender pay gap away as being the result of different working hours or individual career choices. But when the analysis is based on the pay of more than 100,000 individuals in well over 400 organisations, it is clear that the pay gap is a very real fact of life for UK managers.”
Ann Francke, chief executive of the CMI, added: “Too many businesses are like ‘glass pyramids’ with women holding the majority of lower-paid junior roles and far fewer reaching the top.
“We now see those extra perks of senior management roles are creating a gender pay gap wider than previously understood. The picture is worst at the top, with male CEOs cashing-in bonuses six times larger than female counterparts’.”
She urged more companies to “step up and put plans in place to fix this issue”.
She said: “It’s essential if UK companies are to survive and thrive in the post-Brexit world.”