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New study: progress on closing gender pay gap stalls

New research has revealed that men are more likely than women to have been promoted into senior and higher paying management roles in the past year and that no progress has been made on reducing the 23% gender pay gap.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

New study: progress on closing gender pay gap stalls

New research has revealed that men are more likely than women to have been promoted into senior and higher paying management roles in the past year and that no progress has been made on reducing the 23% gender pay gap.

The analysis of salary data of more than 60,000 UK employees by the Chartered Management Institute and XpertHR also found that in the retail and wholesale sector, the gender pay gap stands at 14.3%, representing a £4,523 difference between genders.

The overall figures show that 14% of male managers were promoted into higher positions in the past year compared to 10% of women. It also reveals that for managers who have stayed with the same employer for the last five years, 47% of men were promoted compared to 39% of women.

The study argues that the difference in promotion rates is one of the main causes of the gender pay gap, which remains largely unchanged this year at 23.1% compared to 22.8% in 2015.

The figures show that the average full-time equivalent salary for male managers now stands at £38,817, £8,964 more than the average female manager’s. The pay gap is even higher for those in the ranks of director and chief executive, with men on an average basic salary of £131,673 and earning £16,513 more than women at the same level.

In November 2015, the Government announced plans for new legislation to tackle the gender pay gap, including making it compulsory for large companies to report on how much they pay their male and female staff. The regulations are due to come into effect in April 2017.

Ann Francke, chief executive of CMI, said: “Promoting men ahead of women is keeping us all back. Diversity delivers better financial results, better culture and better decision making. Even before the new regulations kick in, employers need to get on board with reporting on their recruitment and promotion policies and how much they pay their men and women. Transparency and targets are what we need to deal with stubborn problems like the gender pay gap.”

In other findings, there were also fewer women in executive positions than men. While women comprised 73% of the workforce in entry and junior level roles, female representation dropped to 42% at the level of senior management. Just 32% of director-level posts were held by women.

Mark Crail, content director at XpertHR, added: “The gender pay gap is not primarily about men and women being paid differently for doing the same job. It’s much more about men being present in greater numbers than women the higher up the organisation you go. Our research shows that this gap begins to open up at relatively junior levels and widens – primarily because men are more likely to be promoted.”

The study shows that men’s pay further outstrips that of women’s because of a ‘bonus gap’. In the past year, 43% of men received an annual bonus compared to 36% of women. The average men’s bonus stands at £5,398 compared to women’s £2,764, equating to a 49% gap. The bonus gap in the retail and wholesale sector outstrips this national average, standing at 56.5%.

For more senior roles, the national gap grows, with 54% of male senior managers receiving a bonus compared to 38% females of the same level of seniority. At this level, men command an average bonus of £22,687 compared to women’s £13,699.

The public service sector was found to have the overall lowest gender pay gap of 16% compared to 23% in the private sector. The highest pay gaps are in the manufacturing and not-for-profit sectors, at 24% and 25% respectively.

The gender pay gap is just one of the hot topics up for discussion covered at the Retail Bulletin’s 8th Annual Retail HR Summit to be held in London on 5 October. Registrations are now open.

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