New figures which detail the rates at which male and female salaries are increasing suggest that UK businesses are still more than five decades away from paying men and women equally. This is according to a new report published by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).
The 2010 National Management Salary Survey shows that female salaries increased by 2.8% over the last 12 months, compared to 2.3% for men. However, with the average UK salary for a male manager currently £10,071 more than that of a female manager, women could face a 57-year wait before their take-home pay is equal to that of their male colleagues. Although this year marks the 40th anniversary of the 1970 Equal Pay Act, data collected from 43,312 individuals in 197 organisations reveals that male pay outstrips female pay by as much as 24% at senior level.
Even at junior level the gap still persists with male junior executives receiving £1,065 more than female executives. Across the regions, women in the Midlands fare the worst, taking home £10,434 less while those in the North East fare the best, where the gap is smallest at £8,955. Looking at different industry sectors, the pay gaps are highest in IT and the pharmaceutical industry, at £17,736 and £14,018 respectively.
As well as differences in pay, the research also reveals a contrast between male and female labour turnover rates, particularly with regard to redundancy. Over the last 12 months, 4.5% of the female workforce experienced redundancy, compared to just 3% of men. The difficult economic circumstances combined with unsatisfactory remuneration may have contributed to a dramatic increase in resignations, according to the CMI. This, it says, may be the case particularly at director level where 7.7% of female directors voluntarily left their posts in the last year, compared to just 3.6% of men. Female resignations at director level are up from 5.3% the previous year.
Responding to the report, CMI’s Head of Policy, Petra Wilton, said: “Girls born this year will face the probability of working for around 40 years in the shadow of unequal pay. The prospect of continued decades of pay inequality cannot be allowed to become reality. We want to see Government take greater steps to enforce pay equality by monitoring organisations more closely and naming and shaming those who fail to pay male and female staff fairly.
“It’s not just Government that needs to act. Competitive businesses need to attract diverse workforces and appeal to the most talented employees. To do this, managers and employers need to recruit from a wide talent pool but they cannot expect to attract the UK’s best female talent if they continue to undervalue it.”