HR ahead of pack on gender pay, but disparities widen

Analysis from the Chartered Management Institute and XpertHR estimates the gender pay gap for HR managers is 10 per cent – much lower than the 26.8 per cent average across all UK occupations.

Image of coins and models of people sitting on them to represent gender pay gap
Calculated using reporting requirements made under the gender pay regulations that came into force this year for larger employers, the CMI study shows male HR managers on average earn £4,469 more than their female peers. While the average salary of a female manager stands at £40,177, this jumps to £44,646 for men. This includes salary and bonuses, as well as perks such as car allowance and commission.

Gender pay gap highest in finance sector, lowest in IT

HR’s gender pay gap is considerably lower than it is across other occupations. The gender pay gap is particularly high in finance jobs, finds the chartered professional body for management and leadership with XpertHR, an online HR resource. Male managers earn 33.9 per cent more than female peers. This equates to an average salary difference of more than £18,000.While relatively low, the HR pay gap is not the smallest. The management body’s study of salary data of 118,385 managers from 423 organisations over the last year suggests the gender pay gap is lowest in IT. Here male managers out-earn female colleagues by £3,758, or 8.2 per cent.  

Gender pay inequalities a live issue for employers

Commenting on the findings, XpertHR content director, Mark Crail, said: “We have always known that the gender pay gap appears to widen with seniority. But the results we are publishing today enable us to quantify the gap using a large volume of reliable, checked and verified pay data, drawn directly from employer payroll systems.“Some people have tried to explain the gender pay gap away as being the result of different working hours or individual career choices. But when the analysis is based on the pay of more than 100,000 individuals in well over 400 organisations, it is clear that the pay gap is a very real fact of life for UK managers.”
Read more from Relocate Global about gender pay auditing:
Today's findings reveal women are far more likely to fill junior management positions than men (66 per cent as against 34 per cent), with men much more likely to occupy senior positions. Just over a quarter of director-level roles are occupied by women, compared to 74 per cent by men.Even for women progressing to senior roles, the pay gap widens considerably. At director-level positions, the disparity rises to £34,144. Here, men are earning an average of £175,673 and women £141,529. 

Bonus payments part of the gender pay issue

Bonus payments exacerbate the problem, with the gender bonus gap across all managers standing at 46.9%. This increases markedly at C-suite level. The average bonus for a male CEO is £89,230 compared to £14,945 for a woman – an 83 per cent bonus pay gap in the companies surveyed.This year’s CMI analysis suggests that while salary and bonuses are picking up for both men and women, the benefits are going disproportionately to men. Male directors chalked up a 5.8 per cent increase in pay and bonuses, compared to 3.7 per cent for women (compared to 4.0 per cent and 3.3 per cent respectively last year). That means a real-terms widening of the gender pay gap for many managers.The figures make startling reading at a time when only 77 of the 7,850 UK companies to which the new reporting requirement applies have so far fulfilled their obligations under the newly introduced law, according to the CMI.

Time to step up?

CMI chief executive Ann Francke said, “Too many businesses are like ‘glass pyramids’, with women holding the majority of lower-paid junior roles and far fewer reaching the top.“We now see those extra perks of senior management roles are creating a gender pay gap wider than previously understood. The picture is worst at the top, with male CEOs cashing-in bonuses six times larger than female counterparts’.“Our data show we need the government’s gender pay gap reporting regulations more than ever before. Yet, less than 1 per cent of companies have reported so far.“Time for more companies to step up and put plans in place to fix this issue. It’s essential if UK companies are to survive and thrive in the post-Brexit world.”

For more HR news and features, please click here.

Access hundreds of global services and suppliers in our Online DirectoryClick to get to the Relocate Global Online Directory  Get access to our free Global Mobility Toolkit Global Mobility Toolkit download factsheets resource centre