Women enjoying rapid promotion, but pay continues to lag

While women are enjoying faster career progression than their male colleagues, this is not being matched by their remuneration, and there is evidence efforts to redress the pay gap are beginning to stall, a survey by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and Remuneration Economics has found.

Women are achieving director roles quicker than men: at 44 years old, the average female director is achieving this role four years earlier than her male counterpart. The average age of a female department head is 40, compared to 43 for men; and the average female team leader is 37, five years younger than her male opposite.

Women are also taking home more bonuses than men, with 63.4% of women receiving one-off payments, compared to 55.9% of men.

However, bonuses are only worth 10.2% of female income, and a 5.2% increase in female earnings represents their lowest movement since 2004. What is more, over the same period men experienced a 5.4% increase –  the first time in 11 years that male earnings have grown at a faster rate.

In real terms, female managers earned an average of £43,571 last year – over £6,000 less than the male equivalent of £49,647. This difference, of 12.2%, is up from 11.8% last year. At director level, the pay gap widens to £49,233, or 29.9% – up from 24.6% last year.

Jo Causon, CMI director of marketing and corporate affairs, commented: “It is clear the pull of promotion is not being matched by parity in pay. Despite the weight of legislation and the reality that reward should match responsibility, gender bias seems to be getting worse, not better”.

The report also found women are more likely to quit their jobs, with their resignation rate standing at 7.8%. This is compared to a rate of 6.4% among men. Furthermore, fewer women (2.6%) than men (3.7%) are inclined to ask for internal transfers if they are unhappy in their current role.

Commenting on this, Val Lawson, chair of the Women in Management Network, said: “The fact that the proportion of women in senior positions continues to grow is encouraging, but their increasing likelihood to resign is a cause for concern. If employers allow this trend to continue the knowledge gap in UK organisations will be exacerbated at the very time we are trying to challenge the skills crisis”.

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