How to get paid like a man and avoid missing out on £12,000 a year

How to get the salary you deserve

Female managers typically earn almost £12,000 less than men in equivalent positions, new research shows.

Once men and women reach director level, meanwhile, the gender pay gap widens further still, with female directors taking home £34,144 less a year on average.

SEE ALSO: Government ignoring evidence to help end gender pay gap

SEE ALSO: Reminder for bosses of new gender pay gap reporting rules

Ann Francke, chief executive of the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), which conducted the research with XpertHR, said: "Too many businesses are like 'glass pyramids' with women holding the majority of lower-paid junior roles and far fewer reaching the top.

"However, the picture is worst at the top, with male chief executives cashing in bonuses six times larger than their female counterparts."

The scale of the gender pay gap

There's no doubt about it. The average man is paid a lot more for doing exactly the same work as a woman.

The government wants to turn the tide by forcing large companies to provide details of how much they pay their employees - both male and female.

Businesses are dragging their feet when it comes to reporting these figures, though. As of 22nd September, just 77 out of 7,850 eligible employers have fulfilled their reporting obligations.

Among those who have released data, the shocking news is that the pay gap is even worse than believed.

For people in management roles, for example, analysis last year put the gap at 23.1%, or £8,964.

However, greater access to salary information has allowed researchers this year to show the gap actually stands at 23.6%, or £9,326, when judged on basic salary alone.

And once bonuses, perks and commissions are taken into account, the figures show women missing out to the tune of £11,606 a year, a pay gap of 26.8%.

As you move up the corporate ladder, things get even more unfair. The average bonus for a male chief executive is £89,230, or a stonking 83% more than the £14,945 a female chief executive typically receives.

XpertHR's Mark Crail said: "Some people have tried to explain the gender pay gap away as being the result of different working hours or individual career choices. But it is clear that the pay gap is a very real fact of life."

How to fight back

You don't have to accept that you will be paid less for being a woman. Here are three ways to fight back against the gender pay gap.

Bite the bullet and ask for a rise

One - although far from the only - reason men are paid more than women is that they tend to be more proactive about demanding higher salaries.

So if you think you deserve to be paid more, ask for it.

You can increase your chances of success by coming up with all the reasons you deserve more money, researching how much people in similar roles are earning, and picking your moment.

There's little point asking for a rise if you know your company is going through a bad time, for example.

Claim all your perks

It can be tricky asking for a pay rise. But these latest figures suggest that much of the pay gap is made up of perks such as commission and company cars.

And the good news is: asking for extra perks is often easier than demanding an increase in your salary.

Check out what perks are available, choose the ones that are worth the most to you and then ask to see your boss.

Look for a new job

Finding a new job with a higher salary is a surefire way of increasing your income. So if you feel undervalued in your current role, don't be afraid to start looking for a better option.

Just remember to research any prospective employer's pay practices to ensure you don't get fobbed off with a lower salary than men in the same role.

In many cases, it's worth holding out a bit in negotiations, and preparing a list of reasons why you are worth more, to get the pay packet you deserve.

The UK's 10 best-paid jobs
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The UK's 10 best-paid jobs

Flying high literally as well as metaphorically, pilots top the salary scale this year. There are various routes into the job, from university courses to airlines' own training schemes; private training will set you back as much as £50,000 to £60,000.

"I most enjoy the variety of the job, working as a team, to a schedule, with the responsibility of safely transporting hundreds of people to their destination. I would advise aspiring pilots to thoroughly research training routes, understand the serious financial outlay required with no guarantee of a job after training and to consider other routes such as flight instruction."

Not all CEOs are making millions - but they're doing pretty nicely on average. There's no clear route into the job; an MBA can help, but many bosses have worked their way up from the bottom and many simply started their own firm.

"There is an old saying, it's very lonely at the top, which is usually the case for a CEO. You're the leader and you're responsible for everything, meaning you take the credit for the successes and feel the most pain for the companies' failures."

Most air traffic controllers train through National Air Traffic Services (NATS), which has programmes for college leavers who have studied at BTEC ND/HNC/HND level, university students on a sandwich year and graduates. NATS says the most important attribute for acceptance on a course is natural aptitude.

"Much of the time, the job is routine and capable of being done by many people. What you are paid for, however, is your ability to make the right choices and decisions under extreme pressure."

The high pay reflects both the heavy workload and the length of training required - a five-year degree course in medicine, a two-year foundation programme of general training and then another three years specialist training.

"You will get paid well and (despite recent changes!) you will get a very good pension. You will, however, work hard for your money with less recognition than previous years."

This is a job where most people work their way up, although qualifications like the Chartered Institute of Marketing's Professional Diploma in Marketing or the Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing's Diploma in Direct and Interactive Marketing can help. You'll probably need three or four years' experience before you can move into management.

"It's great working in such a varied job - there's something new every day. I enjoy the travel, too. But it's fast-paced, very hard work, and there's a lot of technical data analysis work involved."

It's not surprising that IT and telecoms directors earn good money. The job requires both business and technical skills, and the stakes are high: smoothly-running IT systems are crucial for most businesses and the cost of getting things wrong is high.

"It's a high-pressure job, and the hours can be unbelievably long, but it's extremely rewarding when a project goes well. The biggest problems are staying on top of changes in technology and being clear about what's actually achievable within a budget."

Financial managers and directors need to be qualified accountants and, particularly in larger organisations, have strong general business skills. And the job carries huge levels of responsibility, from keeping the company in good health financially to making sure it complies with the law.

"What I enjoy about the job is the way it's central to the business, the way I'm involved in creating long-term business plans. Compliance [with regulations] can be a bit of a pain; it takes a lot of hard work."

Until recently, the only way to become a senior officer was to work your way up through the ranks. Each police force sets its own recruitment process and selection policy, though there's a basic national framework for evaluating competency. This year, though, the College of Policing has started appointing superintendents from outside the force - so you might be in with a chance.

"I love the opportunity to take on a vast array of roles which would never be possible in a civilian organisation and to progress through a clearly defined promotion structure, should I prove to be good enough. The training I have received has been quite brilliant, enhancing my life skills as well as my ability to do my job well."

If your vision of a bank manager is of a middle-aged man in a panelled office dictating stern letters to his secretary, think again. It's now about managing a team and, especially, attracting new customers and monitoring branch performance. There are two ways to get to be one: either through a bank's graduate scheme, or by starting off in a customer service role and working your way up.

"For me, what's great about working in a branch is that anyone could be a branch manager, you don't have to have a certain skill set. Having a background in customer service, whether it's in a bank or with another retailer, certainly helps. Some other skills that would help are organisation, patience, tolerance and empathy. After 27 years I can genuinely say that that not only do I love coming to work every day, I have also made lifelong friends here. For me, it's not just a nine-to-five job."

Once you're qualified as a teacher, it's a question of working your way up by gaining extra responsibilities - by becoming a head of department, a head of year, or a specialist in something like special educational needs. At head teacher level, the job is far less about teaching itself, and far more about managing staff and budgets and creating a productive, disciplined learning environment.

"It's a common complaint that teaching is all about performance targets these days, and there is some truth in that. It's a question of balance, though. The most rewarding part of the job is knowing that you're bringing the best out of every single child by creating an environment where they feel safe and motivated to learn."


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