Britain's women bosses face lifetime pay gap of £423,000

Female bosses get £15,000 less a year than men - and they’re more likely to be sacked, too

Female executives earn a staggering £423,390 less over their lifetimes than male workers who follow identical career paths, according to new research.

Women bosses now earn £14,689 a year less than their male counterparts, with female directors earning an average basic salary of £127,257 – compared to a male director average of £141,946, the analysis by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) found.

Women also receive less than half of what men are awarded in cash bonuses – the average bonus for a male executive was £7,496, compared to £3,726 for a female executive, the study found.

Though the percentage of women in the executive workforce now stands at 57 per cent, the largest since CMI began recording data in 1995, only 40 per cent of department heads and 24 per cent of chief executives are female.

Meanwhile a separate report from The Fawcett Society warned that women’s pay and career prospects were going into “reverse” amid the Government’s austerity measures.

The charity said today marks the point in the year when women in effect start working for nothing because of the gender pay gap – for every £100 men take home, women are getting £85 – a 14.9 per cent difference.

The CMI study also found that women are more likely to be made redundant than men, with 4.3 per cent of female executives made redundant between Aug 2011 and Aug 2012 compared to 3.2 per cent of male executives, and 7.4 per cent female directors compared to 3.1 per cent male directors. Overall, the number of women losing their jobs has almost doubled since last year's survey, according to the analysis by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).

The research reveals that the average male in an executive role earned a basic salary of £40,325 over the 12 months to August 2012, compared to £30,265 for a female in the same type of role. Although female junior executives earn marginally more (£363) than males at junior levels for the second year running (£21,491 compared to £21,128), the gender pay gap remains substantial as workers progress up the career ladder.

Ann Francke, CMI Chief Executive, said: “A lot of businesses have been focused on getting more women on boards but we’ve still got a lot to do on equal pay and equal representation in top executive roles. Women make up almost three out of four at the bottom of the ladder but only one out of four at the top.  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. Companies are missing out on the full range of management potential at a time when we need to be doing everything we can to boost economic growth.”

Ceri Goddard, chief executive of the Fawcett Society, said: “Women's unemployment stands at a 24-year high and growing numbers of women have been forced into low paid, part-time and insecure employment - underemployment.

”Far from slowly moving forward, we now face going into reverse. If Government wants to avoid an unprecedented backwards step on its watch, they must take more action.

“The UK needs a dedicated women's employment strategy, and more must be done to enable the private sector to ensure a fair deal for women.

”Ensuring that basic employment rights are not branded as red tape and getting employers to undertake simple payroll checks so women don't lose out would also demonstrate real commitment to the millions of women being hit with a double whammy of unequal pay and frozen or shrinking salaries.“

Case study

Lorna Leonard, 45, finance director at Sovereign PLC, said: “Earlier in my career I found that I was being paid significantly less than my male counter parts. It was quite a lot of money – I was getting about 25 per cent less than a male colleague. I raised it with my line manager and it was sorted out immediately.

“On the whole we women are more likely to be satisfied with lower salaries and benefits and less likely to complain or argue for more.  We do not do the personal sell as well as perhaps our male colleagues, from personal experience I know I underestimate my capabilities where I doubt there are too many men that could say the same. 

“In finance it can be very difficult to compare salaries because no two roles are the same

“What I have seen a lot is situations where a guy is somehow valued more highly than a woman and therefore gets the opportunity to get roles that are more highly paid.

“Women are also more likely to require a more flexible approach to working hours - because they are working around a family or work three or four days a week – so they are penalised even though usually they are as, if not more, effective in these hours than their male counterparts.

“Historically it is hours at the desk rather than quality of output that is valued.  I actually know a guy who would not leave the office until his boss had so that his boss would see his car in the car park as he left, the guy would play computer games whilst he waited and for this he got promoted.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Cancer Research UK: Corporate Partnerships Volunteer Events Coordinator – London

Voluntary: Cancer Research UK: We’re looking for someone to support our award ...

Ashdown Group: Head of IT - Hertfordshire - £90,000

£70000 - £90000 per annum + bonus + car allowance + benefits: Ashdown Group: H...

Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - SQL Server, T-SQL

£28000 - £32000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...

Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst / Data Analyst (SQL Server, T-SQL, data)

£28000 - £32000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst...

Day In a Page

Major medical journal Lancet under attack for 'extremist hate propaganda' over its coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Lancet accused of 'anti-Israel hate propaganda' over coverage of Gaza conflict

Threat to free speech as publishers of renowned medical journal are accused of inciting hatred and violence
General Election 2015: Tories and Lib Dems throw their star names west to grab votes

All noisy on the Lib Dems' western front

The party has deployed its big guns in Cornwall to save its seats there. Simon Usborne heads to the heart of the battle
How Etsy became a crafty little earner: The online market has been floated for £1.2bn, but can craft and capitalism coexist?

How Etsy became a crafty little earner

The online market has been floated for £1.2bn, but can craft and capitalism coexist?
Guy Ritchie is the latest filmmaker to tackle King Arthur - one of our most versatile heroes

King Arthur is inspiring Guy Ritchie

Raluca Radulescu explains why his many permutations - from folk hero to chick-lit hunk - never cease to fascinate
Apple Watch: Will it live up to expectations for the man or woman on the street?

Apple Watch: Will it live up to expectations?

The Apple Watch has apparently sold millions even before its launch tomorrow
Don't fear the artichoke: it's a good cook's staple, with more choice than you'd think

Don't fear the artichoke

Artichokes are scary - they've got spikes and hairy bits, and British cooks tend to give them a wide berth. But they're an essential and delicious part of Italian cuisine
11 best men's socks

11 best men's socks

Make a statement with your accessories, starting from the bottom up
Paul Scholes column: Eden Hazard would be my Player of the Year – but I wonder if he has that appetite for goals of Messi or Ronaldo

Paul Scholes column

Hazard would be my Player of the Year – but I wonder if he has that appetite for goals of Messi or Ronaldo
Frank Warren: Tyson Fury will be closely watching Wladimir Klitschko... when he wins it'll be time to do a deal

Frank Warren's Ringside

Tyson Fury will be closely watching Wladimir Klitschko... when he wins it'll be time to do a deal
London Marathon 2015: Kenya's brothers in arms Wilson Kipsang and Dennis Kimetto ready to take on world

Kenya's brothers in arms take on world

Last year Wilson Kipsang had his marathon record taken off him by training partner and friend Dennis Kimetto. They talk about facing off in the London Marathon
Natalie Bennett interview: I've lost track of the last time I saw my Dad but it's not because I refuse to fly

Natalie Bennett interview: I've lost track of the last time I saw my Dad

Green leader prefers to stay clear of her 'painful' family memories but is more open about 'utterly unreasonable' personal attacks
Syria conflict: Khorasan return with a fresh influx of fighters awaiting the order to start 'shooting the birds'

Khorasan is back in Syria

America said these al-Qaeda militants were bombed out of the country last year - but Kim Sengupta hears a different story
General Election 2015: Is William Cash the man to woo Warwickshire North for Ukip?

On the campaign trail with Ukip

Is William Cash the man to woo Warwickshire North?
Four rival Robin Hood movies get Hollywood go-head - and Friar Tuck will become a superhero

Expect a rush on men's tights

Studios line up four Robin Hoods productions
Peter Kay's Car Share: BBC show is the comedian's first TV sitcom in a decade

In the driving seat: Peter Kay

Car Share is the comedian's first TV sitcom in a decade. The programme's co-creator Paul Coleman reveals the challenges of getting the show on the road