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Is the gender pay gap becoming a chasm?

Posting in Technology

New research suggests that the average female executive earns at least £10,000 less than an equal male counterpart.

According to research released by the U.K.'s Chartered Management Institute (CMI), U.K.-based female executives earn an average of £400,000 less over the course of their working lives than a male with an identical career.

Every year, the average female executive will be on £10,060 less than men in equal roles, and will be awarded less than half his bonus. In addition, women are "far more likely to be made redundant," The Guardian reports.

Ann Francke, the institute's chief executive, said:

"It is totally counter-intuitive [to fire a woman who] has made director level. An organisation should be doing all it can to keep them there, to promote cultural diversity. We know categorically that more diversity results in better business results. It is shown in every single study. This is about good business sense."

The survey polled 38,843 U.K.-based executives. Based on today's levels, the research suggests that a women and man starting careers in business aged 25 and retiring at 60 would take home £1,092,940 and £1,516,330 respectively before tax.

However, junior female executives earn marginally more than men on average (£21,491 compared with £21,128), but as a woman climbs up the corporate ladder to director, their standard basic salary of £127,257 is £14,689 less than the average male director.

When touching upon redundancy rates, the CMI study says that 4.3 percent of female executives lost their jobs between August 2011 and August 2012, whereas 3.2 percent of male executives were made redundant. Compare this with the amount of women losing their jobs in the previous survey -- 2.2 percent -- and it could mean that beyond a volatile economy, women are being targeted more than men.

Bring this question to the female directorship level, and 7.4 percent lost their jobs within the timeframe, in comparison to 3.1 percent of men.

Labor equalities spokeswoman Kate Green said:

"It is both unfair and unjustified that women should be paid less than men for doing equivalent jobs. The gender-pay gap at the management level is still higher now than it was in 2010, and at this rate, 42 years after the Equal Pay Act was passed, it will take at least another 21 years for management-level pay amongst men and women to be equalised. This is simply not good enough."

The latest figures from he Professional Boards Forum show that 17.3 percent of FTSE 100 directors are women, a rise from 12.5 percent in 2011.

(via The Guardian)

Image credit: Michael Coghlan

— By on November 6, 2012, 11:58 PM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure