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Ongoing gender pay gap in accountancy profession - latest research from CareersinAudit.com

More than a third of accountants (37%) in the UK believe that men are paid more than women doing the same job in their industry, according to the latest research from CareersinAudit.com

  • New research reveals the ongoing duel of gender pay gap in accountancy profession
  • Work -Life imbalance of a Partner thwarting women’s prospects of promotion

More than a third of accountants (37%) in the UK believe that men are paid more than women doing the same job in their industry, according to the latest research from CareersinAudit.com[1]

Four in ten believe that men are paid up to 30% more than their female counterparts in the same role, whilst five in ten believe that a man’s salary cheque could be higher by 10-20%.  A further 9% believe men  are receiving a staggering 40% more than women doing exactly the same job.

When accountants were asked to give more detailed responses as to why they felt such disparity exists, some felt it is because  ‘employers can get away with it’ and there is a social pressure for women to stay ‘content with what they get’.  Others believe men have the ‘guts to ask for pay rises’ and it is “more in their nature to negotiate a package, whereas women lack the confidence to ask”.  As one accountant said “When men ask for a promotion / pay rise they are seen as ambitious but women are seen as pushy and it goes against them”. Others believe that career breaks and family commitments are the main reason for the divide.

The latest news from the market-leading international job board, reflects the broader trend of pay divide across many industries; research  from the Chartered Management Institute  this Summer revealed that men in the UK get paid 23% more than woman in the same position.

Other highlights of the CareersinAudit.com research include:

  • Seven in ten accountants believe that the glass ceiling for women does still exist, although half of these respondents conceded that they feel the situation is improving;
  • However half of auditors and accountants (44%) surveyed  believe that the work life imbalance as a Partner makes it impossible to raise a family at the same time and prevents women from becoming a partner in the audit and accountancy profession;
  • Whilst half of the respondents believe men and women get the same opportunities at work, four in ten believe that the bosses are in favour of giving promotions and pay-rises to men;
  • When asked about their own workplace, auditors and accountants stated  the top three issues affecting gender inequality were family responsibilities, followed closely by work culture such as the old boy-network and men preferring to work with men
  • Accountants’ top long-term career ambitions are to achieve a good work-life balance (33%), To be happy in their job (29%) although 17% are keen to climb the corporate ladder as far as possible.

Simon Wright, Operations Director at CareersinAudit.com comments:

“With auditors and accountants skilled at keeping a close eye on the numbers, it begs the question of why bosses are not ensuring equality of pay in their own organisations.  Whilst it would seem a draconian measure to introduce compulsory pay audits, those at the top should be accountable and ensure equal pay policies are adhered to.  After all it is forty four years since the Equal Pay Act was passed in the UK.

“Some respondents felt at the core that women struggle to ask for a pay-rise, either through lack of confidence or not wanting to appear ‘pushy  or aggressive’  which could been seen to go against them.  In contrast their male counterparts are seen to be ambitious and taking control of their career when they ask for a pay-rise.

“Perhaps bosses should take a different approach and pro-actively promote and reward with pay-rises as opposed to the most forceful employee winning the bigger pay cheque.”

[1] CareersinAudit.com’s research was conducted between August-September 2014 amongst 1,440 accountants.  UK sample size was 298.  Work positions of respondents included Auditor, Accountant, Senior Auditor, Audit Manager, Head of Department, Partner, Financial Director /CFO.