According to a report from the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and Xpert HR, female salaries in HR increased by 3.1% over the past 12 months, compared with 2.9% for men. But with the average salary for a male manager currently £7,847 more than that of a female manager, women face a 107-year wait before their take-home pay is equal to that of their male colleagues, making HR the sector with the longest wait until the pay gap equalises.
At junior levels the gap still persists with male junior HR executives receiving £1,180 more than female executives. Across the sectors, women in the IT sector fare the worst, taking home on average £17,736 less while those in engineering fare the best, where the gap is smallest at £2,433.
The research also reveals a contrast between male and female labour turnover rates nationally, particularly with regard to redundancy.
Over the past year, 4.5% of the female workforce experienced redundancy, compared with 3% of men. And at director level 7.7% of female directors voluntarily left their posts in the last year, compared to 3.6% of men. Female resignations at director level are up from 5.3% the previous year.
The CMI’s director of policy and research, Petra Wilton, said: "Girls born this year will face the probability of working for years in the shadow of unequal pay. The prospect of continued decades of pay inequality cannot be allowed to become reality. We want to see Government take greater steps to enforce pay equality by monitoring organisations more closely and naming and shaming those that fail to pay male and female staff fairly.
"It’s not just Government that needs to act. Competitive businesses need to attract diverse workforces and appeal to the most talented employees. To do this, managers and employers need to recruit from a wide talent pool but they cannot expect to attract the UK’s best female talent if they continue to undervalue it."
Caroline Wilson, Eversheds’ head of diversity and CSR, added: "Our lifestyle policy, which places emphasis on flexible working, is just one of the ways that we support our colleagues, including mothers and carers; helping them to balance their commitments while continuing to deliver the best possible service for our global clients. Traditionally, it would have been seen as a big deal for a partner to leave the office at 5pm, but due to our remote working options, we’ve found ways to help our colleagues continue to be client-centred, whatever their circumstances.
"Lifestyle policies like these are helping to make the legal profession an attractive choice for women. More than 20% of senior managers within the legal sector are women. How many professions can say that? For our colleagues within the legal profession, time is a precious commodity so we will always look to do more to help them."