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Revealed: Twice as many male as female practice managers earn over £50k a year

by Costanza Pearce
13 May 2019

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More than twice as many male practice managers in the UK earn over £50,000 a year compared to their female counterparts, a study has revealed.

The research, carried out by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 2017 and funded by the Health Foundation, found that 30% of male practice managers earn over £50,000 but only 14% of female practice managers are in the same salary range.

A much larger proportion of female practice managers are in the lower income brackets than male practice managers, the study showed.

Almost half of the female respondents, 47%, earned below £40k a year, compared to a quarter of male respondents, 24.5%.
Route to the role

The researchers suggested this reflects their route to the job, which was also found to differ according to gender, with those joining from the private sector seemingly valued more highly. 

Almost half, 47%, of women enter practice management via other jobs in the practice – such as administrator, receptionist or deputy practice manager – while only 11% of men take this route.

Male practice managers were more likely than their female colleagues to come from a management job in the private sector, at 50% and 19% respectively.
The study, which also found that 78.5% of practcie managers are women, revealed that almost two-thirds, 62%, of practice managers who had previously been employed in general practice earned under £40k.
This compared with only 28% of those who came from outside healthcare.

Similarly, almost a quarter of those who came from other sectors, 24.5%, had salaries of over £50k while only 8% of those entering the profession from within general practice matched these earnings.

Practice managers who came from a managerial role elsewhere in the NHS fell roughly in the middle in terms of earnings – 32% were paid under £40k and 21% earned over £50k.

‘Lack of status’?

Study author Dr Jennifer Gosling said: ‘Practice managers who came up through the ranks find it harder to achieve the higher-level salaries.

‘Whether this is lack of status compared to those coming in from elsewhere, particularly previous management positions, or the latter’s bargaining power, we don’t know.’

Dr Gosling, who has also studied the gender pay gap between male and female practice managers in the past, added that there is a ‘complex relationship’ between management experience, management qualifications and gender.

The study also showed that most practice managers, 71%, work full-time at 35 hours per week or more, although nearly a third, 29%, identify as working part-time.