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Saturday, November 10, 2012

CMI: Women still being marginalised in the workplace

Figures released today reveal that the average female executive suffers a lifetime earnings gap of £423,390 compared to a male worker with an identical career path.

The statistic is based on analysis by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) of market pay data collected by salary survey specialists XpertHR, which looks at salary and labour turnover data for 38,843 people in executive roles in the UK.

With the current gap between male and female average pay at management level standing at £10,060 a year, a woman and a man entering executive roles aged 25 and working their way up the career ladder until retiring aged 60 would take home pre-tax totals of £1,092,940 and £1,516,330 respectively, based on today's levels.

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

Ann Francke, CMI chief executive, said: "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.

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

"We need an immediate and collaborative approach to setting things straight, Francke added."

"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."


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