Women managers ‘work hour for free’ in Wales

Tuesday 1st September 2015

Women managers ‘work hour for free’ in Wales

A professional body has claimed that women managers in Wales are effectively working for free for nearly an hour every day.

The gender pay gap at management level stands at an average of £3,188 or 13%. This is compared to the UK average of 22%, yet the Charted Management Institute (CMI) said it was “unacceptable”.

These findings are reflected in the most recent Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures, and show that women in professional occupations in Wales received an average of £678 gross pay a week in 2014, compared to men on £794 a week.

However, the ONS said that the issue is complex and we should focus on the median hourly earnings for those in full time work, which highlights that the pay gap is now the lowest on record. It is actually 9.4% between all working men and women, around £100 a week, compared to 17.4% in 1997.

Researchers at Cardiff University last year found that working patterns of men and women are different, with at least 90% of all dental nurses, nursery nurses, child minders, teaching assistants and midwifes being women. This is compared to at least 90% of all chemists, physicists, geologists, engineers and chartered surveyors being men. Researchers suggest that “feminised” jobs attract lower hourly pay rates and have a higher concentration of part time hours.

In summary:

  • Men hold 64% of all the available full time jobs in Wales, while women hold around 80% of all the part time jobs;
  • Senior management and skilled trades are male dominated; and
  • 90% of chief executives of major organisations in Wales are men.


The reports show that the gender pay gap is greatest at the most senior and director levels and greater as women grow older.

Sophie Wilson at Gordons says, “Next year, new legislation comes into force which requires organisations with 250 or more staff to report publicly what they pay male and female staff. Hopefully, the transparency of the legislation will mean businesses have to act on their statistics. If more women take up senior executive roles, this will eventually pave the way for others to make sure they are paid the same as their male colleagues at each stage in their careers. It could change the recruitment landscape in the future.”