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19 August 2014

Female professionals earn 35% less than male colleagues

Women now face worse gender pay discrimination during the second half of their careers.

By lucy Fisher

Senior female managers earn 35 per cent less than their male counterparts, according to new figures. Women are now hit hardest by the gender pay gap in the second half of their careers.

Female professionals would have to work until they were almost 80 – that is, 14 extra years – in order to equal the lifetime earnings of a male equivalent in the same role.

The current gender pay gap stands at £9,069, according to the data, but the chasm widens between older men and women.

A mid-life pay crisis has emerged for professionals aged between 46 and 60, where the gender pay gap is at its widest at £16,680.

The gender pay gap is narrower, but still significant, for younger and more junior women, standing at 6 per cent for 20 to 25 year olds, and 8 per cent for 26 to 35 years olds.

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The National Management Salary Survey, published by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and salary specialists XpertHR, surveyed more than 68,000 professional UK workers.

It revealed that a “bonus gap” has also grown between female and male bosses. The average bonus for a female director stands at £41,956, while for male directors the average pay-out is £53,010.

The differential between average male and female annual salary increases is also affected by age and seniority. Across all levels, the average salary increase stands at 2.3 per cent, but inequality increases at senior levels.

Female directors enjoy, on average, a basic salary increase of just 1.9 per cent, compared to 2.7 per cent for male directors. Including bonuses, on average a male director took home £204,373, while a female director was awarded £171,945.

Gender discrimination in pay packets was outlawed 44 years ago under the Equal Pay Act, but inequalities still persist.

Younger women edge ahead of men in salary terms under one metric. In three of the five most junior job levels, female annual pay awards are an average of 2.4 per cent, compared to 2.3 per cent for men’s.

Ann Francke, Chief Executive of CMI, said: Lower levels of pay for women managers cannot be justified, yet our extensive data shows the pay gap persists…

It’s not right that women would have to work until almost 80 for the same pay rewards as men. We have to stamp out cultures that excuse this as the result of time out for motherhood and tackle gender bias in pay policies that put too much emphasis on time served.”