Five questions answered on the male/female pay gap

Women paid "significantly less".

A survey of 38,843 managers at the Chartered Management Institute found that women can expect to be paid significantly less than their male counterpart throughout their lifetime. We answer five questions of the survey’s findings.

 How big exactly is the pay gap between men and women?

Well, a man and woman working with an identical career path – starting as an executive role at 25 and rising up the career ladder until they are 60 – a man can expect to take home pre-tax totals of around £1,516,330, while a women can expect to take home pre-tax totals of £1,092,940.

That’s a lifetime earnings gap of £423,390 with the average yearly pay gap between men and women being £10,060.

Does this extend to bonuses, too?

Yes, according to the survey women receive less than half what men are awarded in bonuses. The average bonus for a male executive was £7,496, compared to £3,726 for a female executive.

How many executive women are there in the national workforce?

The survey found that there are 57 per cent of women in the executive workforce; at junior level there are 69 per cent but only 40 per cent of department heads are female and only 24 per cent are chief executives.

How have women been affected by recession job cuts?

More harshly than their male counterparts: between August 2011 and August 2012 4.3 per cent of female executives were made redundant, compared to 3.2 per cent of male executives. This is almost double since the last survey in 2011 when the figure stood at 2.2 percent.

This year’s survey found twice as many female directors were made redundant compared to male directors (7.4 per cent compared to 3.1 per cent).

Who is the Chartered Management institute and what did they have to say about the research findings?

CMI is a membership organisation dedicated to raising standards of management and leadership across all sectors of the UK commerce and industry. It is also the founder of the National Occupational Standards for Management and Leadership and sets the standards that others follow.

Ann Francke, CMI Chief Executive, said: “This lack of a strong talent pipeline has to change, and fast.  Allowing these types of gender inequalities to continue is precisely the kind of bad management that we need to stamp out.

“We need an immediate and collaborative approach to setting things straight. The Government should demand more transparency from companies on pay, naming and shaming organisations that are perpetuating inequality and celebrating those that achieve gender equality in the executive suite and the executive pay packet. The new plans to require companies to report on the number of women in senior positions are also welcome. Government should move ahead with plans to reform parental leave, which will remove one of the barriers that makes it impractical for women to play a greater a part in the workforce”

The gap widens. Photograph: Getty Images

Heidi Vella is a features writer for Nridigital.com

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BHS is Theresa May’s big chance to reform capitalism – she’d better take it

Almost everyone is disgusted by the tale of BHS. 

Back in 2013, Theresa May gave a speech that might yet prove significant. In it, she declared: “Believing in free markets doesn’t mean we believe that anything goes.”

Capitalism wasn’t perfect, she continued: 

“Where it’s manifestly failing, where it’s losing public support, where it’s not helping to provide opportunity for all, we have to reform it.”

Three years on and just days into her premiership, May has the chance to be a reformist, thanks to one hell of an example of failing capitalism – BHS. 

The report from the Work and Pensions select committee was damning. Philip Green, the business tycoon, bought BHS and took more out than he put in. In a difficult environment, and without new investment, it began to bleed money. Green’s prize became a liability, and by 2014 he was desperate to get rid of it. He found a willing buyer, Paul Sutton, but the buyer had previously been convicted of fraud. So he sold it to Sutton’s former driver instead, for a quid. Yes, you read that right. He sold it to a crook’s driver for a quid.

This might all sound like a ludicrous but entertaining deal, if it wasn’t for the thousands of hapless BHS workers involved. One year later, the business collapsed, along with their job prospects. Not only that, but Green’s lack of attention to the pension fund meant their dreams of a comfortable retirement were now in jeopardy. 

The report called BHS “the unacceptable face of capitalism”. It concluded: 

"The truth is that a large proportion of those who have got rich or richer off the back of BHS are to blame. Sir Philip Green, Dominic Chappell and their respective directors, advisers and hangers-on are all culpable. 

“The tragedy is that those who have lost out are the ordinary employees and pensioners.”

May appears to agree. Her spokeswoman told journalists the PM would “look carefully” at policies to tackle “corporate irresponsibility”. 

She should take the opportunity.

Attempts to reshape capitalism are almost always blunted in practice. Corporations can make threats of their own. Think of Google’s sweetheart tax deals, banks’ excessive pay. Each time politicians tried to clamp down, there were threats of moving overseas. If the economy weakens in response to Brexit, the power to call the shots should tip more towards these companies. 

But this time, there will be few defenders of the BHS approach.

Firstly, the report's revelations about corporate governance damage many well-known brands, which are tarnished by association. Financial services firms will be just as keen as the public to avoid another BHS. Simon Walker, director general of the Institute of Directors, said that the circumstances of the collapse of BHS were “a blight on the reputation of British business”.

Secondly, the pensions issue will not go away. Neglected by Green until it was too late, the £571m hole in the BHS pension finances is extreme. But Tom McPhail from pensions firm Hargreaves Lansdown has warned there are thousands of other defined benefit schemes struggling with deficits. In the light of BHS, May has an opportunity to take an otherwise dusty issue – protections for workplace pensions - and place it top of the agenda. 

Thirdly, the BHS scandal is wreathed in the kind of opaque company structures loathed by voters on the left and right alike. The report found the Green family used private, offshore companies to direct the flow of money away from BHS, which made it in turn hard to investigate. The report stated: “These arrangements were designed to reduce tax bills. They have also had the effect of reducing levels of corporate transparency.”

BHS may have failed as a company, but its demise has succeeded in uniting the left and right. Trade unionists want more protection for workers; City boys are worried about their reputation; patriots mourn the death of a proud British company. May has a mandate to clean up capitalism - she should seize it.