East Anglia has been exposed as the UK blackspot for low payment of female talent.
Salaries for women executives in East Anglia are the lowest in the country at £21,994 – Wales is second worst with average female pay at £22,825.
The reality for an allegedly world-leading business cluster is that East Anglian women can climb on a train for London and for the sake of an hour or so’s travel time double their money.
London salaries mean the average female executive takes home £42,517 a year.
New research from the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) have revealed the disparity and sparked calls for action.
The figures show that junior female executives in the region have only just started earning as much as their male counterparts – in fact they have nudged slight ahead of the men in the pay stakes at ££17,886 compared to £17,809.
It’s closer to the glass ceiling where the reflection on East Anglia is one of shame.
CMI’s area manager for East Anglia, Marc Spillman, said: “While CMI is delighted that junior female executives in the region have caught up with men at the same level, this year’s Salary Survey demonstrates, yet again, that businesses in East Anglia are contributing to the persistent gender pay gap and alienating top female employees by continuing to pay men and women unequally. This kind of bad management is damaging UK businesses and must be addressed.
“It is the responsibility of every executive – both female and male, organisation and the Government to help bring about change. Diversity shouldn’t be seen as something that has to be accommodated, but something that must be celebrated.
“Imposing mandatory quotas and forcing organisations to reveal salaries is not the solution. We need the Government to scrutinise organisational pay, demand more transparency from companies on pay bandings and publicly expose organisations found guilty of fuelling the gender pay gap.
“They and employers must ensure that women are nurtured and supported at work, and can access development opportunities to help them on their way to senior management positions. We want to see mentoring and sponsorship programmes in more businesses and industries and more female executives pushing their employers to formalise and publicise equal pay and opportunity policies.”
Phillippa Williamson, CMI Companion and chief executive of the Serious Fraud Office, added: “As an employer, it’s frustrating that, at a time when things are still very tough for UK organisations, business leaders are missing a trick by not ensuring they pay their employees fairly.
“Companies that refuse to prove to talented women that they will be valued and rewarded as much as men won’t be able to recruit or retain the best employees and risk losing them to competitors.
“There is a clear business case for equal pay; evidence shows that companies where women are well represented at every organisational level from board level down perform better. Organisational performance will be improved by ensuring high quality managers and leaders are in place; gender shouldn’t come into it.”
And Sandra Pollock, national chair of CMI’s Women in Management (WiM) network said: “There has been a lot of very welcome noise recently about getting more women into senior positions in UK organisations, for example Lord Davies’ report into women in boardrooms and the 30 Percent Club launching.
“So it’s disappointing to find that, at the current rate of increase it would be almost a century before men and women in executive jobs are paid equally. Why should a woman take on the responsibilities of a director-level position when the likelihood is still that she will be paid significantly less than the man sitting next to her at the boardroom table?
“Too often managers are male and aged 45 plus and we are fighting an ongoing war to ensure that professions attract people based on their talent and not their age or gender.”
• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: CMI’s area manager, Marc Spillman