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Sat, 15 August 2020

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Men 40% more likely than women to be promoted in management roles

Men 40% more likely than women to be promoted in management roles

Chartered Management Institute

3 min read Member content

Research released today by the Chartered Management Institute and XpertHR reveals that men are more likely than women to have been promoted into senior and higher paying management roles in the past year, with no progress made on reducing the 23% gender pay gap.  


Male managers are 40% more likely than female managers to be promoted into higher roles, new data has revealed.

Analysis of salary data of more than 60,000 UK employees, by the Chartered Management Institute and XpertHR, found that in the past year, 14% of men in management roles were promoted into higher positions compared to 10% of women.

Even allowing for staff turnover, men continue to be promoted ahead of women in management roles. The data reveal that for managers who have stayed with the same employer for the last five years, 47% of men were promoted compared to 39% of women.  

The difference in promotion rates is one of the main causes of the gender pay gap, which remains largely unchanged this year at 23.1% compared to 22.8% in 2015.

The average full-time equivalent salary for male managers now stands at £38,817, £8,964 more than the average female manager’s. The pay gap is even higher for those in the ranks of director and CEO, with men on an average basic salary of £131,673 earning £16,513 more than women at the same level.

In November 2015, the Government announced plans for new legislation to tackle the gender pay gap, including making it compulsory for large companies to report on the pay gap between their male and female staff. The regulations are due to come into effect in April 2017.

Ann Francke, chief executive of CMI, said that the imminent pay reporting regulations will focus employers on closing the gender pay gap in their organisations: “Promoting men ahead of women is keeping us all back. Diversity delivers better financial results, better culture and better decision making.

“Even before the new regulations kick in, employers need to get on board with reporting on their recruitment and promotion policies and how much they pay their men and women. Transparency and targets are what we need to deal with stubborn problems like the gender pay gap.”

In other findings, there are also fewer women in executive positions than men. While women comprise 73% of the workforce in entry and junior level roles, female representation drops to 42% at the level of senior management. Just 32% of director-level posts are held by women.

Mark Crail, content director at XpertHR, added: “The gender pay gap is not primarily about men and women being paid differently for doing the same job. It’s much more about men being present in greater numbers than women the higher up the organisation you go. Our research shows that this gap begins to open up at relatively junior levels and widens – primarily because men are more likely to be promoted.”

Men’s pay further outstrips that of women’s because of a ‘bonus gap’. In the past year, 43% of men received an annual bonus compared to 36% of women. The average men’s bonus stands at £5,398 compared to women’s £2,764. For more senior roles the gap grows, with 54% of male senior managers receiving a bonus compared to 38% females of the same level of seniority. At this level, men command an average bonus of £22,687 compared to women’s £13,699.

The public service sector has the overall lowest gender pay gap of 16% compared to 23% in the private sector. The highest pay gaps are in the manufacturing and not-for-profit sectors, at 24% and 25% respectively.

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