Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Celebrate International Women's Day

On the eve of International Women’s day and 41 years after the Equal Pay act came into force, many women still earn a lot less than men performing the same jobs.
The data comes from the huge Office for National Statistics annual survey of hours and earnings – ASHE, which examines 1% of HM Revenue & Customs pay as you earn (PAYE) records and is the bible of what we earn and who we are. The figures are broken down by gender, age, geographic location and type of job.
The data shows that the median annual salary for all full-time employees in 2010 was £25,900, which is up 0.3% on the year before. But men earn vastly more than women: £28,091, compared to £22,490 – a difference of 19.9%.
Even overtime has an effect – 24.1% of men working full-time take home overtime pay, compared to only 12% of women in the same position.
But even if you remove that impact, plus the effect of women earning maternity pay and the fact that more women work part-time than men, the difference is still striking: men earned 10.2% more in hourly full-time pay last year, £13.01 compared to £11.68.

The pay gap has narrowed considerably in the past decade, declining from 16.3% (excluding overtime) in 2000 to 10.2% last year
The ONS recommends looking at median salaries because they are not affected by the relatively few very high earners – unlike the ‘average’ or ‘mean’ salary, which would be changed by one or two people earning over £1m, for instance. If you do use the average figure, the pay gap rises to 15.5%.
(Yes, I do know that the median is an average too, but most people refer to the mean when they use the word).
Our analysis shows the hundreds of jobs where men still earn substantially more than women. Using the ONS’ job classification data, where each occupation is given a special 4-digit code number, the data shows there are around 170 jobs classified where men earn over 10% more than their female counterparts, and another 200 where men earn between 1 and 10% more than women. There are only three where the hourly pay is the same.
The biggest gap is, perhaps unsurprisingly, in metal manufacturing, where men earn nearly 50% more than women. But male financial services brokers also earn double women’s hourly pay of £16.55. Male directors of large companies and organisations are paid over 21% more than women directors. In only a few areas are women paid more than men.
If overtime and extra pay are added into the equation – and the amount women lose from going on maternity leave is taken into account – the gap increases substantially. Many full-time annual salaries show substantial differences between men and women. Male health professionals, which includes doctors, administrators and other senior health workers, earn £82,674 a year, double female workers doing the same jobs full-time on £44,232. Male printers take home 47.5% more than female printers each year and even male hairdressers earn 17% more than females, with an annual full-time salary of £15,227.




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