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