UK Professionals

Women and the Wage Gap – Getting Down to the Facts

It’s no news that women earn less than men, but most of the information out there about the gender wage gap is pretty general. We wanted to know how salaries stack up for high-earning, professional women in the UK compared to those of the men.

Level Differences

We dug deep and looked at the wage gap among women managers at different levels and in various leading industries. Using Experteer salary data from thousands of male and female job seekers across the UK, we found that on average men out-earn women at every level by just over eight percent.

For instance, male project managers have an average annual salary of £63,947 compared to that of women at £59,199 – a difference of 7.7 percent. The narrowest gap is at the Manager/Team Leader level. There, men earn 6.8 percent more than women.

The biggest gap, though, is at the top. Male CEOs earn on average 11 percent more than female leaders, or £115,811 compared to £103,680.

women and the wage gap

Industry Inequality

The industry matters too when it comes to salary differences between the sexes. Women working in IT, financial services and consulting earn considerably less than their male counterparts. In financial services, for instance, the gap amounts to an average annual salary difference of £15,510!

The smallest gaps – where women tend to earn closer to what men earn — are in retail, scientific research and the public sector.


Why the Wage Gap

Why women make less than men, often for the same work, is a complex story. For one thing, women still bear the lion’s share of responsibility for caring for family members (e.g., children and aging parents).

For this reason, women tend to work less and prioritize jobs that allow more schedule flexibility over those with higher salaries.

Also, women have historically migrated into career fields with lower average salaries. Areas like tourism, health care and education, are still dominated by women whereas higher-paying fields like IT, finance and engineering still employ considerably more men.

For women, earning less during the working years means that their retirement income suffers. On average, women contribute less than half of the amount to their pensions than men do.


Closing the Divide

There’s a little good news here. The wage gap is narrowing. Ever so slowly.

Luckily, there are a number of initiatives underway to speed up the process to even up salaries between professional men and women. For instance, programs to mentor women for leadership roles and to motivate girls and younger female professionals to pursue STEM careers can, over time, help boost their average wages.

And more companies are offering flexible work arrangements – like work-from-home schemes, part-time options and longer parental leave – that help women stay in the workforce longer and keep their careers (and salaries) moving upward.


About the Author:

Kate RodriguezKate Rodriguez is a freelance marketing copywriter based in Munich. She has over 20 years of professional experience in public and private organizations. A former international trade analyst for the U.S. government, she also worked as a university career coach, specializing in international career search. Most recently, she was employed at Experteer as a customer service agent and online marketing manager.

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