Raw pay deal for women bosses

The gap between the pay of top male and female company directors is getting wider, according to a survey from the Institute of Directors (IOD).

The IOD analysed the pay structure of 1,250 organisations – in both the public and private sectors – and found male directors earned an average of £70,657 while their female counterparts were paid £56,933 a year. This is equivalent to a 22 per cent gap. A year earlier the figure stood at 19 per cent.

The IOD added that female directors' pay remained largely unchanged last year while many male directors had enjoyed significant pay rises.

Pay differentials were wider in the private than in the public sector. But even here, where equality between the pay of men and women tends to be closely monitored, male directors earned around 5 per cent more than their female counterparts.

Underlining these findings, government figures show a huge rise in equal pay claims being taken to employment tribunals. During 2005-06, the last year for which figures are available, 44,000 such claims were brought, a 155 per cent increase on the previous 12-month period.