Women managers are effectively working for free nearly two hours every day, according to an annual survey of 72,000 UK managers published by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and salary specialist XpertHR.
The study reveals that women working in equivalent full-time roles earn 22% less than men, meaning that they are unpaid for 1h 40m a day – a total of 57* working days every year.
Analysis of the data from the 2015 National Management Salary Survey highlights pay imbalances across the UK’s professional workforce.
For men and women of all ages and in all professional roles the gender pay gap now stands at £8,524, with men earning an average of £39,136 and women earning £30,612. In 2014, the pay gap stood at £9,069, or 23%.
The pay gap rises to £14,943 for senior or director-level staff, with men earning an average of £138,699 compared to the average for women of £123,756.
Female managers are also missing out across all levels when it comes to bonuses, with the average man’s bonus of £4,898 almost doubling that of the average woman’s bonus of £2,531.
The survey data also reveals that the pay gap becomes wider as women grow older. Women aged 26-35 are paid 6% less than their male colleagues, rising to 20% for women aged 36-45.
The gap increases to 35% for women aged 46-60, equivalent to working 681 hours for free compared to their male colleagues. For women and men in their 60s the pay gap expands to 38%.
Not only are older women earning less, but there are also fewer of them in executive positions. Even though women comprise 67% of the workforce in entry-level roles, and continue to outnumber men in junior management roles, female representation drops to 43% at the level of senior management.
Just 29% of director-level posts are held by women. In March, the publication of Women on Boards: Davies Review Annual Report 2015 revealed that the number of women holding board-level positions in FTSE 100 companies reached 23.5% – just short of the 25% target.
Chief executive of the CMI, Ann Francke commented: “Working for free two hours a day is unacceptable.
“While some progress is being made, it’s clear from our research that Lord Davies is right to target the executive pipeline. Having more women in senior executive roles will pave the way for others and ensure they’re paid the same as their male colleagues at every stage of their careers.”
Content director of XpertHR, Mark Crail added: “An entire generation has now worked its way through from school leaver to retirement since the first equal pay legislation came into effect in 1970, yet the gender pay gap persists.
“Many employers still prefer not to know just how bad it is in their organisation rather than getting to grips with the data and doing something about it. HR and reward specialists in larger companies have a special responsibility to get this firmly on to the senior management agenda and to develop the plans needed to close the gap.”
In other findings, the pay gap is widest for employees of organisations with between 250 and 999 staff, with women earning on average 27% less working for these employers – making them 5% worse off than even the national average.
This should be particularly alarming news for large organisations. New legislation coming into force in 2016 will require organisations with 250+ employees to report publicly on what they pay male and female staff.
Over 7,850 organisations, which collectively employ more than 11.2m staff (40% of the UK’s workforce), will be affected by the new legislation. The Government has yet to announce the details of the reporting requirements but the consultation outlined proposals closes on September 6.
*Based on an average full-time working week of 37.4 hours; ONS Labour Market Statistics August 2015