Men 40% more likely than women to be promoted in management roles

Progress stalls on closing gender pay gap

Research released today by the Chartered Management Institute and XpertHR reveals that men are more likely than women to have been promoted into senior and higher paying management roles in the past year, with no progress made on reducing the 23% gender pay gap. 

Male managers are 40% more likely than female managers to be promoted into higher roles, new data released today [23 August] by the Chartered Management Institute and XpertHR reveals.

Analysis of salary data of more than 60,000 UK employees found that in the past year, 14% of men in management roles were promoted into higher positions compared to 10% of women.

Even allowing for staff turnover, men continue to be promoted ahead of women in management roles. The data reveal that for managers who have stayed with the same employer for the last five years, 47% of men were promoted compared to 39% of women.  

The difference in promotion rates is one of the main causes of the gender pay gap, which remains largely unchanged this year at 23.1% compared to 22.8% in 2015.

The average full-time equivalent salary for male managers now stands at £38,817, £8,964 more than the average female manager’s. The pay gap is even higher for those in the ranks of director and CEO, with men on an average basic salary of £131,673 earning £16,513 more than women at the same level.

In November 2015, the Government announced plans for new legislation to tackle the gender pay gap, including making it compulsory for large companies to report on the pay gap between their male and female staff. The regulations are due to come into effect in April 2017.

Ann Francke, chief executive of CMI, says that the imminent pay reporting regulations will focus employers on closing the gender pay gap in their organisations:

Promoting men ahead of women is keeping us all back. Diversity delivers better financial results, better culture and better decision making. Even before the new regulations kick in, employers need to get on board with reporting on their recruitment and promotion policies and how much they pay their men and women. Transparency and targets are what we need to deal with stubborn problems like the gender pay gap.”

In other findings, there are also fewer women in executive positions than men. While women comprise 73% of the workforce in entry and junior level roles, female representation drops to 42% at the level of senior management. Just 32% of director-level posts are held by women.

Mark Crail, content director at XpertHR, adds:

The gender pay gap is not primarily about men and women being paid differently for doing the same job. It’s much more about men being present in greater numbers than women the higher up the organisation you go. Our research shows that this gap begins to open up at relatively junior levels and widens – primarily because men are more likely to be promoted.”

Men’s pay further outstrips that of women’s because of a ‘bonus gap’. In the past year, 43% of men received an annual bonus compared to 36% of women. The average men’s bonus stands at £5,398 compared to women’s £2,764. For more senior roles the gap grows, with 54% of male senior managers receiving a bonus compared to 38% females of the same level of seniority. At this level, men command an average bonus of £22,687 compared to women’s £13,699.

The public service sector has the overall lowest gender pay gap of 16% compared to 23% in the private sector. The highest pay gaps are in the manufacturing and not-for-profit sectors, at 24% and 25% respectively.

Employers can start preparing for the gender pay reporting regulations by following CMI’s how-to guide:

Join the conversation: @cmi_managers #MindThePayGap

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Notes to editors

About the gender salary survey:

1. The main datasetXpertHR used both the 2016 and 2015 editions of the National Management salary survey as the data source for this report. The 2016 edition covered 105,394 employees and the 2015 edition covered 72,475 employees. A total of 60,517 employees from 214 organisations were common to both 2016 and 2015 editions and were used to report pay gap, promotion and seniority information.

2. The five-year tracked sample

XpertHR took the 2011 edition of the National Management salary survey and found 2,269 individuals from 39 organisations who were still incumbent employees in the 2016 edition. This information was used to report summary findings for promotion and pay outcomes by gender over a five-year timeframe.

3. Discrepancies in gender pay gap figures

In 2015 CMI/XpertHR reported the gender pay gap as “female mean basic salary as a percentage of male mean basic salary”. In 2016 we have adopted the gender pay gap calculation that will be introduced by the government’s gender pay gap reporting regulations ie, “the percentage difference between male and female basic salary as a percentage of male basic salary”. This change, combined with a change of sample composition for the 2015 dataset to only include individuals also present in the 2016 edition, means that the 2015 figure reported here (22.8%) is in effect similar, but not identical, to the 78.2% (in other words, a pay gap of 21.8%) reported by us in August 2015.

About CMI

The Chartered Management Institute (CMI) is the only chartered professional body for management and leaderships, dedicated to improving managers’ skills and growing the number of qualified managers.

Our professional management qualifications span GCSE to PhD equivalents, including the unique Chartered Manager award, which increases earning potential and improves workplace performance.

We provide employers and individual managers with access to the latest management thinking and with practical online support that helps them to embrace change, create high-performing teams and keep ahead of the curve.

With a member community of more than 136,000 managers and leaders, we promote high standards of ethical practice through our Professional Code of Conduct, and help managers to build their expertise through online networks, regional events and mentoring opportunities.

About XpertHR

XpertHR is the award-winning employment intelligence service for HR professionals. XpertHR Salary Surveys provide detailed pay data used by employers in reviewing and setting pay levels.

Visit for more information.  

The survey can be purchased by calling 020 8652 4653.