The gender gap: Men and women's pay

25th March 2013

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The 2013 IEMA practitioners' survey details the differences between men and women's pay in the environment profession in comparison to the UK average

Nearly two-thirds (63.2%) of respondents to the 2013 survey are male; 36% are female, while the remainder did not disclose. The gender profile of the survey mirrors the UK IEMA membership as a whole, which has remained constant over the past few years. The 2005 survey findings reported a 66.9%/33.1% split in favour of male respondents, for example.

The male–female breakdown of successive survey samples demonstrates that the gender profile of the environment profession tends to be more balanced than some other sectors.

The 2012 survey of members of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, for example, reported a sample comprising less than one-quarter of female respondents.

There has been slow but steady progress in reducing the differential between men’s and women’s pay across the UK economy.

The 2012 ASHE reported that the gender pay gap had fallen below 10% for the first time, with the difference between men’s and women’s median full-time hourly earnings – excluding overtime – pegged at 9.6% in April 2012. In April 2011, the gap was 10.5% and in 2000 it was more than 16%, so the latest ASHE marks a definite step in the right direction for equal pay.

Analysis of the 2013 practitioners’ survey responses reveals that median gross annual male earnings are £39,000 compared with £33,050 for female IEMA members. This equates to a 15.3% pay gap, an increase on the 13.9% differential reported in 2012.

Figure 6 shows the variation in annual salaries between men and women in the survey.

Although the 15.3% pay gap for environment professionals taking part in the 2013 survey is significantly wider than the 9.6% reported in the 2012 ASHE, whether or not the pay gap analysis is based on hourly or annual earnings makes a big difference to the outcome.

The preferred measure for calculating the gender pay gap is hourly pay (excluding overtime) because any calculation based on annual earnings can be distorted by overtime payments.

The 15.3% pay gap reported in the latest IEMA survey is significantly lower than the 19.5% based on full-time gross annual earnings for 2012 according to the ASHE.

The 2012 ASHE also reported wide variation in the pay gap (based on hourly earnings) across different occupations. At 18.9% and 15%, the pay gap for “professionals” and “associate professional and technical staff” – the most relevant standard industrial classification groups for comparison – is significantly higher than the pay differentials recorded for most other occupations.

A detailed examination across the age ranges of the salaries for men and women participating in the 2013 IEMA survey – as shown in table 3 – reveals a wide variation in the pay gap according to age bracket.

For example, women have slightly higher salaries between ages 25 and 29, but this reverses when they reach 30–34. The data also indicates that, after the age of 34, female professionals are unlikely earn more than their male colleagues. The pay gap follows an uneven upwards trajectory with increasing age from 45, and widening to more than 18% between 45 and 54.

Read the full 2013 practitioner survey results:

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