By Daniel Hunter

Analysis released today by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) has revealed that the average female executive suffers a lifetime earnings gap of £423,390 when compared to a male worker with an identical career path.

Dawn Nicholson, HR consulting partner at PwC, said that this was a 'disturbing' amount.

"The size of the lifetime earnings gap between men and women is disturbing and suggests that women are going backwards versus their male counterparts," she said.

"If the career path is identical, then it is hard to see why the differential would exist, let alone how it could be justified.

“Employers must really ask themselves whether they are being absolutely unbiased in the pay decisions they make. They need to consider whether they are fairly evaluating the different and diverse skill sets, not just of men and women in their companies, but of all of their employees.

“Companies and managers need to fully recognise the different and complementary skills it takes to be successful in business and properly assess and evaluate these skills. This means some managers will need to move away from simply looking for the skills they recognise in themselves and are therefore more comfortable rewarding.

“It is time for businesses to really challenge and question these accepted norms and create new ways of assessing and rewarding success which align to the demands of a 21st century workforce."

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