Women face 100 year wait for equal pay

31 August 2011

Equal pay for women is 100 years away, according to a new report.

The pay gap between male and female executives grew to an average of £10,546 reports the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), with the average man earning £42,441 while their female counterparts take home £31,895.

This depressing news is compounded by the fact that although female executive salaries are rising faster than those of male executives, at the current rate it will be 2109 – 98 years – before the average woman's salary catches up with men.

At present, female salaries are growing at a rate of 2.4% - 0.3% higher than the increase in male salaries.

The gender pay gap is widest in Northern Ireland where the average male executive earns £13,793 more than his female co-worker, while Wales turned out to have the fairest pay policy with a gap of just £2,441.

Read Cathy Adams blog: Who says men and women are equal? Not me

The good news for women

It isn't all bad news though. For the first time the survey showed that female junior executives are being paid slightly more than men at the same corporate level with women earning £21,969, £602 more than men.

"We have won our first battle – it is wonderful to see that the gender pay gap at junior executive level has closed and we hope this continues as this generation climbs the ranks of management," says Sandra Pollock, the National Chair of CMI's Women in Management (WiM) network.

But now everyone needs to act to address the pay gap higher up the corporate ladder.

"It is the responsibility of every executive - both female and male, organisation and the government to bring about change," says Petra Wilton, the CMI's director of policy and research.

"We need the government to scrutinise organisational pay, demand more transparency from companies on pay bandings and publicly expose organisations found guilty of fuelling the gender pay gap."


One contributing factor to the pay gap is women are reluctant to ask for pay rises. Here are five tips on how to successfully ask for a salary increase:

1. Set up a meeting with your boss
Make an appointment to discuss your pay. It shows you are serious about the discussion and gives your boss time to prepare too.

2. Research your pay
There are several websites now that will tell you the average salary for your job title. Try payscale.com or totaljobs.com/salarychecker. This will tell you whether you are overpaid or underpaid and give you an idea of what a realistic pay rise request might be. Don't be afraid to use this information in your negotiations.

3. List what you do
If you can go into the meeting and tell your boss everything you do and therefore show your worth to the company your pay request stands a far greater chance of being approved.

4. Discuss other perks
Given the economic climate it may be that your company simple can't afford to give you a pay rise. Be prepared for this by researching other perks you could ask for such as more holiday, flexible working or private healthcare.

5. Schedule a pay review
If your pay request is rejected ask for feedback on why so you can find out what you need to improve and ask for another pay review in a couple of months time to look at the situation again.

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