Gender pay gap for women in manufacturing - Business Works
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Gender pay gap for women in manufacturing

Ann Francke, Chief Executive, CMI New figures just released reveal that the average female executive working in manufacturing earns £11,005 a year less than her male counterparts – higher than the national average pay gap of £10,060 a year.

The figure is highlighted in the latest data from the National Management Salary Survey published by XpertHR in association with the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), which looks at salary and labour turnover data for 5977 people in executive manufacturing roles in the UK. The research shows that the average male in an executive role in manufacturing earned a basic salary of £45,888 over the 12 months to August 2012, compared to £34,883 for a female in the same type of role.

At a national level, although female junior executives earned marginally more (£363) than males at junior levels for the second year running (£21,491 compared to £21,128), the gender pay gap remained substantial at the opposite end of the executive career ladder, with female directors earning an average basic salary of £127,257 – £14,689 less than the male director average of £141,946.

News on the nature of the 'management pipeline' is also mixed. The figures show that the percentage of women in the national executive workforce now stands at 57%. However, while at junior level the majority (69%) of executive workers are now female, a much smaller percentage have made it into top roles – just 40% of department heads are female and only one in four chief executives (24%).

"A lot of businesses have been focused on getting more women on boards, but we’ve still got a lot to do on equal pay and equal representation in top executive roles," said Ann Francke, CMI Chief Executive. "Women make up almost three out of four at the bottom of the ladder, but only one out of four at the top. This lack of a strong talent pipeline has to change, and fast. Allowing these types of gender inequalities to continue is precisely the kind of bad management that we need to stamp out. Companies are missing out on the full range of management potential at a time when we need to be doing everything we can to boost economic growth."

The labour turnover data at a national level also shows that more women than men fell foul of job cuts in the 12 month period between August 2011 and August 2012 – 4.3% of female executives were made redundant, compared to 3.2% of male executives. This difference grows as women move up the ranks – twice as many female directors were made redundant compared to male directors (7.4% compared to 3.1%). The number of women losing their jobs has almost doubled since the last survey from 2.2% in 2011. In contrast, more men than women left their jobs of their own volition – 14.2% of men walked away from positions in the 12-month period compared to 12.2% of women.

"We need an immediate and collaborative approach to setting things straight," continued Ann. "The Government should demand more transparency from companies on pay, naming and shaming organisations that are perpetuating inequality and celebrating those that achieve gender equality in the executive suite and the executive pay packet. The new plans to require companies to report on the number of women in senior positions are also welcome. Government should move ahead with plans to reform parental leave, which will remove one of the barriers that makes it impractical for women to play a greater a part in the workforce."

"But the issue isn’t going to be resolved by legislation alone. Employers need to take action to change corporate cultures. Development opportunities such as mentoring and qualifications have been proven to be highly successful in helping women build the confidence and skills needed to realise their potential. Employers failing to recognise this are missing a trick – create an environment where your staff can thrive, are diverse and are paid fairly and your business will thrive too."

CMI has worked with top female leaders and its own experts to create a pool of free online resources for women and businesses, available at As well as tips from successful women on how to get ahead and tackle gender inequality in the workplace, this combines guidance for employers on topics from coaching and mentoring to flexible working. Practical advice on offer to women includes negotiating effectively, empowerment and marketing yourself.

CMI’s Women in Management (WiM) network works nationally to help address key challenges currently affecting women managers, including opening up opportunities for career progression. As well as offering a supportive environment for managers at all levels and in all sectors, it provides impartial career advice and a wide range of networking opportunities.

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