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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Why do the words “soup, swoop, loop de loop” come to mind every time I lift a spoon to my lips?

It’s all thanks to Barry and Anita.

A while ago I was lending a friend the keys to our house. We keep spare keys in a ceramic pot I was given years ago by someone who made it while on an art-school pottery course. “That’s er . . . quite challenging,” the friend said of the pot.

“Is it?” I replied. “I’d stopped noticing how ugly it is.”

“Then it’s a grunty,” she said.

“A what?” I asked.

“A grunty. It’s something you have in your house that’s hideous and useless but you’ve stopped noticing it completely, so it’s effectively invisible.”

I was much taken with this idea and realised that as well as “grunties” there are also “gruntyisms”: things you say or do, though the reason why you say or do them has long since been forgotten. For example, every time we drink soup my wife and I say the same thing, uttered in a strange monotone: we say, “Soup, swoop, loop de loop.” How we came to say “soup, swoop, loop de loop” came about like this.

For a married couple, the years between your mid-thirties and your late forties might be seen as the decade of the bad dinner party. You’re no longer looking for a partner, so the hormonal urge to visit crowded bars has receded, but you are still full of energy so you don’t want to stay in at night, either. Instead, you go to dinner parties attended by other couples you don’t necessarily like that much.

One such couple were called Barry and Anita. Every time we ate at their house Barry would make soup, and when serving it he would invariably say, “There we are: soup, swoop, loop de loop.” After the dinner party, as soon as we were in the minicab going home, me and Linda would start drunkenly talking about what an arse Barry was, saying to each other, in a high-pitched, mocking imitation of his voice: “Please do have some more of this delicious soup, swoop, loop de loop.” Then we’d collapse against each other laughing, convincing the Algerian or Bengali taxi driver once again of the impenetrability and corruption of Western society.

Pretty soon whenever we had soup at home, Linda and I would say to each other, “Soup, swoop, loop de loop,” at first still ridiculing Barry, but eventually we forgot why we were saying it and it became part of the private language every couple develop, employed long after we’d gratefully ceased having soupy dinners with Barry and Anita.

In the early Nineties we had an exchange student staying with us for a year, a Maori girl from the Cook Islands in the southern Pacific. When she returned home she took the expression “soup, swoop, loop de loop” with her and spread it among her extended family, until finally the phrase appeared in an anthropological dissertation: “ ‘Soup swoop, loop de loop.’ Shamanistic Incantations in Rarotongan Food Preparation Rituals” – University of Topeka, 2001. 

This article first appeared in the 21 July 2016 issue of the New Statesman, The English Revolt