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Female managers 'work unpaid' for 1 hour 40 minutes per day

Female managers are effectively working for free nearly two hours every day, according to research from the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).

The 2015 National Management Salary Survey found that women earn 22% less than men working in equivalent full-time roles, meaning that they effectively work unpaid for 1 hour 40 minutes every day.

The report found the gender pay gap to be £8,524 for men and women in professional roles, with men earning an average of £39,136 and women making £30,612. This is a smaller gap than in 2014 when the pay difference stood at £9,069.

The pay gap rises to £14,943 for senior- or director-level staff, with men earning an average of £138,699 compared to the average for women of £123,756. Female managers were also awarded less when it came to bonuses; with the average man’s bonus (£4,898) almost double that of the average woman’s (£2,531). 

The CMI’s report found that women comprise 67% of the workforce in entry-level roles, and outnumber men in junior management positions, compared with 43% representation at senior management level.

Stefan Martin, employment partner at Mayer Brown, said new regulations may help provide greater transparency around potential pay gaps. “The report is further evidence that the gender pay gap and the under-representation of women in senior roles remain real issues for employers,” he said. “The recently announced regulations that will require gender pay gap reporting by all businesses with more than 250 employees will highlight those with large pay gaps.

“Many employers already carry out internal equal pay audits and many more are now turning their minds to doing this, with a view to determining the extent of any gender pay gap issue.”

Lynn White, director of WDI Consulting told HR magazine that the CMI findings are disappointing. “The reduction in the pay gap for professional roles is a shift in the right direction, but that's the only good news,” she said. “The increasing pay differential for senior- and director-level staff is very disappointing and will be uncomfortable for some organisations to explain. However, it may also be affected by the lack of women in senior roles, which is an ongoing issue for so many firms.

“The root causes of why such differentials exist need to be explored but will likely include elements of unconscious cultural and workplace bias,” White added. “The differential in the bonus awards between the genders is hugely symbolic, and points to a complex array of underlying factors that organisations need to be willing to explore if they truly want to evolve towards more inclusive cultures and reap the associated business benefits. 

“We know from extensive research that – for a variety of reasons – men are more likely to ask for promotion and salary increases and are more successful at securing them, which may also be influencing the data,” she added.