No Image Available

Women still underpaid and under-represented in management


Figures from the Office of National Statistics show women working full-time in 2001 earned 18.5% less per hour than men working full-time, compared with 18.9% in 2000. The gap between women part-time workers’ hourly earnings and men full-time workers’ hourly earnings increased from 40.2% in 2000 to 41.3% in 2001.

The Equal Opportunities Commission has also released a report, Women and Men in Britain: Management, which shows that although women now account for 30% of managers in Britain, they still earn 24% less per hour than male managers. They only make up 50% or more of managers in sectors traditionally associated with women, such as education and health and social services.

Julie Mellor, Chair of the EOC, called on employers to tackle the long hours culture and to check their pay systems were fair, as part of a radical culure change. “The new figures on pay reveal the shameful truth that Britain is still failing to make any significant progress towards closing the gender pay gap. The gap between part-time women and full-time men’s hourly earnings actually increased in the last year. Women will remain the poorer sex until there is a radical change of working culture in all sectors and at all levels. Routine pay reviews to check that pay systems don’t short-change women are an essential part of the culture change needed.”

“The dire shortage of flexible work and decent part-time work at senior levels, the long hours culture, and out of date ideas about ‘women’s work’ also combine to keep women down. Men who want to spend more time with their family or who work in fields traditionally dominated by women lose out too.”

“This is not just about breaking the glass ceiling, but also about getting rid of the sticky floor that keeps so many women trapped in low-paid employment. It is time Britain’s employers recognised the benefits of giving all their workers the opportunity to fulfil their potential.”

Other key findings:
Men dominate in nine out of the eleven managerial groups, the exceptions being financial institution and office managers, and health and social services managers.

The few sectors in which women account for 50% or more of managers are in fields of work dominated by women overall, including education and health and social services.

Only six per cent of managers were employed part-time, and three quarters of those were women.

Twenty-two per cent of managers usually worked more than 50 hours a week, and male managers (27%) were more likely than female managers (10%) to do so.

Women managers are less likely than male managers to have dependent children. Forty-seven per cent of male managers had dependent children, and 20% had at least one child under five. In comparison 35% of female managers had dependent children and 12% had at least one child under five.

More than 2.6 million men and 1.1 million women were employed as managers and senior officials in Spring 2001.

No Image Available

Get the latest from HRZone

Subscribe to expert insights on how to create a better workplace for both your business and its people.


Thank you.