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Gender pay gap rises to 34% in 40s

21 August 2014

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A female manager would have to work for at least 14 years beyond her pensionable age of 65 to earn the same amount of money as a male counterpart, new research has shown. 

The Chartered Management Institute’s (CMIs) latest National Management Salary Survey, which covers more than 68,000 UK professionals, highlights that women aged 40 and over are earning 35% less money than men, with the average wage gap between men and women in the 45-to-60 age bracket coming to £16,680 per year.

When looking across all age groups, the average male salary is still £9,069 greater than the annual female takings – a difference of 23%. 

The average bonus for a female director, for example, stands at £41,956, while a man in a similar role receives £53,010.

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However, in three of the five most junior job levels, annual female pay rises are surpassing those of men (2.3% compared to 2.4%). 

And while younger women in higher roles do still face significant gaps – 6% for those between 20 and 25, and 8% for those between 26 and 35 – they are much narrower than they are in senior categories.

According to CMI chief executive Ann Francke, the findings provide a strong reminder of the discrimination that women endure in the workplace. 

“Lower levels of pay for women managers cannot be justified,” she said, “yet our extensive data shows the pay gap persists, with many women hit by a ‘mid-life pay crisis’. Women and men should be paid on the basis of their performance in their particular roles – but this is clearly not yet the case for far too many. 

“It’s not right that women would have to work until almost 80 for the same pay rewards as men. We have to stamp out cultures that excuse this as the result of time out for motherhood, and tackle gender bias in pay policies that put too much emphasis on time served.”