Equal pay for men and women is 98 YEARS away as male workers are paid £10,000 more than their female counterparts

Male executives are paid more than £10,000 a year more than their female counterparts, research has revealed - and it will take 98 years for the gap to close.

A study of 35,000 executives showed a gender gap of £10,546, around £500 more than last year, although at junior level women earned marginally more than men.

Wages for women executives are increasing faster than those of men.

Disparity: Young women managers have overtaken men and now earn £600 more on average in the same jobs

Disparity: Young women managers have overtaken men and now earn £600 more on average in the same jobs

But at the current rate it will take almost 100 years for salaries to be equal, according to the report by the Chartered Management Institute.

Male executives earned an average of £42,441 compared with £31,895 for women, although men's pay increased by 2.3 per cent in the past year compared with 2.8 per cent for women.

CMI research chief Petra Wilton said: 'While CMI is delighted that junior female executives have caught up with males at the same level, this year's salary survey demonstrates, yet again, that businesses 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.'

But for young female managers, the pay gap is reversed, according to the report. It found that their average salary was £21,969 a year, £600 more than a man could expect at the same level.

The findings, based on a survey of 34,000 managers, back up evidence from official statistics that the traditional gender pay gap has gone into reverse among the young.

These show that last year a woman manager in her 20s working full-time earned 2.1 per cent more than a man in the same age group. 

The closing of the gender pay gap follows more than a decade of greater educational achievement by girls than boys and a view among some employers that they are more ambitious and efficient.

The institute also found salaries for women went up by 2.4 per cent in the year to February, compared with 2.1 per cent for men, and that men and women are being made redundant at the same rate.

Ms Wilton said: 'Because of the historic trend of gender pay discrimination, at more senior levels women will continue to be paid less.

'Those who have been underpaid for 30 years or so are unlikely to suddenly get a pay rise, and clearly employers can't go around cutting male pay just to even things out.

'Gender discrimination in the workplace may be phasing out slowly, but it has been entrenched for such a long time that it will take quite some time until we see equality at all levels.

'We may well have to wait for junior executives to move through the ranks for pay parity to be achieved.'

However, Ruth Lea, economist for the Arbuthnot Banking Group, said older women were paid less because many chose not to focus on their careers.

'The fact that younger women are paid more than men is a clear sign that there is no discrimination against women,' she said.

'In many cases women choose children at the expense of their careers, and I am fed up with people lecturing them that they are wrong to do so.'

Women workers are under pressure to give up their jobs because of the growing cost of childcare, according to another study.

Insurers Aviva estimated that around 32,000 women have stopped work over the past year to look after their children full-time.

Some female workers were left with just £120 a month after the costs of childcare and work travel and clothing were considered.

Louise Colley, head of protection at Aviva and the mother of four-year-old twins, predicts even more mothers will stop work.

'Many families with young children face a challenge as they balance their income with the cost of childcare,' she said.

'As care costs rise, it is quite possible we will see more and more couples relying on one salary while the other person looks after the children. This is simply because they may actually be worse off if both people work.'

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