Subscribe / Unsubscribe Enewsletters | Login | Register

Pencil Banner

Female executives earn 9 percent less than male counterparts, report claims

Jaimie Kaffash | March 7, 2012
Female executives' pay continues to lag behind their male counterparts' across Europe, a study released on Tuesday revealed.

Female executives' pay continues to lag behind their male counterparts' across Europe, a study released on Tuesday revealed.

The report from human resources consultants Mercer analysed 269 companies and over 15,300 employees in the UK. The study showed that the typical total cash salary - which comprises base salary and any additional cash awards such as base salary - for women was £93,434, around £10,000 (-9 percent) less than their male counterparts, who earned an average of £103,230.

However, this compared favourably with the worst performer, Germany, where the disparity was -22 percent. Belgium (-6 percent), Switzerland (-7 percent) and Norway (-8 percent) were the worst offenders.

Eastern European companies demonstrated greater equality in pay. In Bulgaria and Russia, female executives earned 5 percent and 3 percent more than their male peers, the study showed.

Sophie Black, principal in Mercer's executive remuneration team, said that discrimination did play a part, but there were other factors at play, such as moving in and out of workforce due to childcare responsibilities and working part-time.

"This has a huge impact, not only on the numbers of women in senior positions but also on their earning-power," Black said. "A woman may be paid less than her male peers because the five years she spent off the corporate ladder represents, in the eyes of her employer, five years less experience."

Other factors include the fact that more women were in support roles such as HR and marketing, the report said.

This report comes the day after the European Union released its consultation on the number of women on boards. Justice commissioner Viviane Reding said she was not in favour of quotas, but she "likes the results they bring in".

 

Sign up for MIS Asia eNewsletters.