The gender gap: Men and women's pay

17th March 2014

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Deborah Lawley

The 2014 IEMA practitioners' survey details the differences between men and women's pay in the environment profession in comparison to the UK average

Although environment management does not have the image of being a male-dominated p-rofession in the way that health and safety management does, for example, the findings from the 2014 practitioners’ survey show that women remain under represented. Of the 2,120 IEMA members responding, just over one-third (35.8%) are women. This gender divide has remained consistent over successive surveys.

Reducing the differential between men and women’s pay has been a public policy priority for many years, and there has been slow, steady progress towards achieving this aim. In April 2012, the gender pay gap across the economy fell below 10% for the first time, to 9.6%. In 2000, the UK gender pay gap stood at 16%. Disappointingly, the most recent ASHE statistics reveal that in April 2013 the gender pay gap – based on median full-time hourly earnings – rose to 10%, reversing the previous narrowing of the differential between men and women’s earnings. The ONS figures for annual pay reveal that men earn £29,251 and women £23,589, a 19.4% pay gap.

As figure 7 shows, both the male and female IEMA members taking part in the 2014 survey command significantly higher median annual pay compared with the UK workforce generally. The median annual earnings of male professionals is £41,200, while their female colleagues receive £35,000 – a pay gap of 15.1%. Although this pay differential is 4.3% lower than that recorded by ONS for the UK labour market as a whole, it is still disappointing that the incomes of environment professionals are dictated to some extent by gender.

Female IEMA members may take some small measure of comfort, however, from the progress in achieving parity since the results of the 2007 practitioners’ survey. Then, the median total annual earnings for men and women revealed a 20.3% pay gap in favour of male professionals.

Nonetheless, the latest poll reveals that the gender pay gap for IEMA members completing the survey has increased for the second year, albeit by a reduced amount.

Figure 8 shows how median annual earnings vary by age and gender for IEMA members. While men typically earn more than women from the age of 35 onwards, female professionals tend to start off their environment careers at a higher salary level compared with their male colleagues. Between the ages 30 to 35, male and female practitioners command the same annual pay of £35,000.

Read the full survey results:


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