East Anglia: CMI survey reveals gender gap in bonus payments

Male managers earned average bonuses twice as big as those of their female counterparts in the past

Male managers earned average bonuses twice as big as those of their female counterparts in the past year, according to new research. - Credit: PA

Male managers in the UK earned average bonuses more than twice as big as those of their female counterparts in the past year, according to new research, although the gender gap in the East of England was slightly narrower.

The Chartered Management Institute (CMI) said the finders showed that the overall gender pay gap was being aggravated by the bonus gap.

Male managers were paid an average of £6,442 bonus last year compared with £3,029 for women, on top of basic salaries almost 25% bigger.

Although bonuses in the East of England were substantially lower than the national average, the gender gap was only slightly smaller in percentage terms, with male managers in the region earning an average bonus of £3,044 compared to £1,650, on top of average basic salaries almost 29% bigger.

The national study of 43,000 managers also showed that male managers stand to earn over £141,000 more in bonuses than women doing the same job over the course of a working lifetime.

The gap in pay and bonuses are bigger at senior levels, with female directors paid an average bonus of £36,270, while men are given £63,700, said the report.

Ann Francke, chief executive of the CMI, said: “Despite genuine efforts to get more women onto boards, it’s disappointing to find that not only has progress stalled, but women are also losing ground at senior levels.

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“Women are the majority of the workforce at entry level but still lose out on top positions and top pay. The time has come to tackle this situation more systemically.

“If organisations don’t tap into and develop their female talent right through to the highest levels, they will miss out on growth, employee engagement, and more ethical management cultures. And that’s not good for business.”

Mark Crail of salary specialists XpertHR, which helped with the research, added: “There is no good reason for men to still be earning more in bonuses than women when they are in very similar jobs. But it’s often the case that men and women have different career paths, with ‘male’ roles more likely to attract bonuses. While women are generally getting lower bonuses than men, especially at senior levels, they may be entering occupations where there is less of a culture of bonus payments. The question for employers is why that’s the case.”


Yvette Cooper, shadow minister for women and equalities, said: “It’s disgraceful that the corporate gender pay gap seems to be getting wider rather than narrowing.

“Women executives already only get three-quarters of the pay of male executives in similar jobs, and now this research shows women managers are only getting half the bonuses too.

“Too many organisations still need to get their act together and stop under-valuing women’s talent.”

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Women already suffer a pay penalty of over 10% compared to men, but the gender pay gap is even worse once bonuses and pensions are included.

“The gender pay gap in bonuses isn’t just about men getting paid more for doing similar jobs. The bigger concern is that so few women ever reach the kind of senior positions that attract bonuses.

“The gender pay gap is not only a major business failure, it’s a shocking waste of talent that’s costing our economy dear.”