By Max Clarke

Male executives across the UK are paid more than £10,000 more than their female counterparts- a gap that will take some 98 years to close, new research has revealed.

The research, carrier out by XpertHR on behalf of the Chartered Management Institute, examined pay packages for some 34,000 executives across the UK revealing the widespread and persistent discrepancies.

At the junior executive level, however, females are on average paid more- receiving £21,900 per annum, compared to their male counterparts’ £21,300.

“While [the Institute] is delighted that junior female executives have caught up with males at the same level,” commented Petra Wilton, Director of Policy and Research at the Institute, “this year’s Salary Survey demonstrates, yet again, that businesses are contributing to the persistent gender pay gap and alienating top female employees by continuing to pay men and women unequally. This kind of bad management is damaging UK businesses and must be addressed.”

“It is the responsibility of every executive — both female and male, organisation and the Government to help bring about change. Diversity shouldn’t be seen as something that has to be accommodated, but something that must be celebrated. Imposing mandatory quotas and forcing organisations to reveal salaries is not the solution. We need the Government to scrutinise organisational pay, demand more transparency from companies on pay bandings and publicly expose organisations found guilty of fuelling the gender pay gap.

"They and employers must ensure that women are nurtured and supported at work, and can access development opportunities to help them on their way to senior management positions. We want to see mentoring and sponsorship programmes in more businesses and industries and more female executives pushing their employers to formalise and publicise equal pay and opportunity policies.”

The research also reveals that redundancy hit men and women equally hard between February 2010 and February 2011, with 2.2% of male executives and the same percentage of female executives losing their jobs. For female executives, this is an encouraging shift from last year when 3% of men were made redundant compared to 4.5% of women. The figures show women at more senior levels are being adversely affected by redundancy, however; at function head level, women are almost twice as likely as men to have been made redundant (2.7% of male function heads were made redundant compared to 4.9% of female function heads), while almost five times as many female directors as male directors lost their jobs (0.6% of men compared to 2.9% of women).

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