MEN working in some industries expect salaries which are almost a third more than their female counterparts, with the average working woman expecting to earn 20 per cent less than a man in the same job.
Accountancy, banking and energy show the biggest anticipated gender pay gaps, a report found. Men working as qualified accountants expect an average salary of £47,034 – almost £11,000 more than women in the same role.
“Companies that pay men more are likely to be acting illegally”Emma Ritchie, Engender
Meanwhile, men in banking expect to be paid £25,400 per year compared to women who expect to earn £20,800. Males who work in the energy industry earn £27,500, a fifth more than their female counterparts who expect to take home just £22,674 a year.
The gap has widened by two per cent compared to last year, according to the report, published by online recruitment specialist Reed.co.uk on Equal Pay Day. It found that the anticipated average annual salary for men in 2014 was £23,763 whilst that for women trailed behind at £19,858.
Lynn Cahillane, spokeswoman for Reed, said: “Our latest research shows a major difference in the pay expectations of men and women, with men demanding, on average, £3,905 more than women – a gap of 20 per cent.
“The figures also reveal a stark contrast of what UK men and women expect to get paid and what’s actually on offer.
“If you’re happy in your current job but feel you’re not getting paid enough, it’s time to take on one of the tougher tasks we all face whilst in employment – negotiating a pay rise.”
Other industries with a marked gender pay difference included purchasing, sales and education.
However, some industries, including IT and security, found women’s expectations outperformed men, salary-wise, but by a far lower proportion of two per cent.
Emma Ritch, executive director of Edinburgh-based equal opportunities organisation Engender, said: “It’s hugely disappointing to think that the gender pay gap has become such an entrenched feature of the labour market in the UK that women expect to earn less than men for doing the same job.
“In reality, companies that pay male and female staff differently are likely to be acting unlawfully, even if those different pay and reward packages have been negotiated with the individuals concerned.”
She added: “Companies in Scotland are fortunate to be able to access advice on equal pay from Close the Gap, which is a specialist initiative funded by Scottish Government to support organisations on all aspect of women’s workplace equality.”
A recent report from the United Nations found that the income of female workers across the world will lag behind men’s for another 70 years if efforts to close the pay gap at an international level continues at the same pace.
Women across the world earn 77 per cent of the amount paid to men, a figure that has improved by only three percentage points in the past 20 years, while official figures show that the gender pay gap in the UK stands at 19.1 per cent, increasing to 21.4 per cent when only full-time jobs are taken into account.