Gender pay gap shows large discrepancies

By | 29th September 2015

The ongoing significant pay gap in 2015 between men and women has been highlighted in a number of studies.

Two independent studies this year have found that there is a difference of about £8,500 in earnings between the genders for equivalent roles.

Women managers working in equivalent full-time roles earn 22 per cent less than men, according to research published in September 2015 by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and Xpert HR. The data shows that women are working the equivalent of 1 hour 40 minutes a day unpaid, which totals 57 working days every year. The findings come from an analysis of the 2015 National Management Salary Survey of 72,000 UK managers.

The gender pay gap, based on the 2015 data, stands at £8,524, with male managers earning an average of £39,136 and female managers earning £30,612. This is a slight improvement on 2014, when the pay gap stood at £9,069.

The differences increase at senior or director-level staff, rising to £14,943, with men earning an average of £138,699 compared to the average for women of £123,756. The average man’s bonus was found to be £4,898, almost twice that of the average woman’s bonus of £2,531.

The research revealed that the pay gap becomes wider as women grow older. According to the CMI, “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%.”

There are fewer women in executive positions, though this is improving. The CMI found: “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 2015, the publication of ‘Women on Boards: Davies Review Annual Report 2015’ found the number of women holding board-level positions in FTSE 100 companies reached 23.5%, which is just short of the 25% target set by Lord Mervyn Davies in 2011.

The CMI and Xpert HR research also found that 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.

Research by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) published in February 2015 found similar experiences. Its report found that a clear pay inequality gap of £8,483 exists in favour of men, a figure that can not be explained by any other factor such as length of service, seniority, parenthood, or a higher prevalence of part-time work amongst women. The study also revealed that gender was identified as the third biggest influence on salary, more so than education background, sector of practice, graduate status, and full-time/part-time status.

The infographic from the CMI summarises the findings from its research.

 Mind the gender pay gap

Changes on reporting pay

In 2016, large organisations in the UK employing more than 250 employees will have to report on how they pay men and women. This is expected to affect 7,850 employers.

Useful web links

8 ways to close the gender pay gap  (CMI website article)

Join the discussion on Twitter @cmi_managers using the hashtag #mindthepaygap

CIPR 2015 research into gender pay gapGender pay 2015 blog by Sarah Hall, member of the CIPR board of directors

Gender pay resources (highlighted by the CIPR, 2015)

2015 State of the Profession report (CIPR)

Equal Pay Statutory Code of Practice (Equality Act 2010)

Women on Boards – Davies Review, 2015 report (

UK Government 3 year update on the report on gender equality (

‘Women in Business – path to leadership’ report 2015 (Grant Thornton)