12,000 pounds pay gap for women directors

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THE PAY gap between male and female company directors is narrowing but still amounts to an average pounds 12,000 a year, according to research published yesterday, writes Barrie Clement.

Women board members received a median figure of pounds 30,000 a year compared with pounds 42,000 for male colleagues. However, while all directors' pay rose by 5 per cent over the past 12 months, women's rose by 7.1 per cent.

The data was produced by the Reward Group for the Institute of Directors which argues that the figures show their members led the way in pay restraint. Researchers found that 54 per cent of the 6,000 directors questioned received rises of 5 per cent or less and 34 per cent had rises of 4 per cent or less. Around 14 per cent received no rise and 1 per cent took a pay cut.

However, other grades still received slightly lower rises. According to Reward's figures, managerial, administrative and clerical staff received 4.3 to 4.4 per cent over the same period and blue collar workers 3.9 per cent.

Steve Flather, of Reward, argued that the disparities were much smaller than last year when directors received 8 to 10 per cent while their more junior colleagues got around 6.5 per cent.

Blenyth Jenkins, of the Institute of Directors, said the survey constituted 'concrete evidence' that directors had not lined their pockets. A predicted boardroom increase of 4 per cent for next year, however, could not be justified.