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Accountants' gender pay gap widens

ICAEW executive director: 'We have a gender pay gap problem in accountancy'

16 April 2015

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Female chartered accountants over 45 saw their salaries drop by £6,500 last year, while their male counterparts received a pay increase of £4,200.

The average male chartered accountant earns a salary of just over £100,000, while female chartered accountants earn an average of just over £63,000.

The executive director of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), Sharron Gunn, believes that there is a problem with how businesses are developing their 'pipeline of female leaders'.

Gunn commented: 'We need to face the hard truth that there has been desperately slow progress to correct the gender pay gap, given the Equal Pay Act was introduced 45 years ago. While it's a national trend across all professions, we have a gender pay gap problem in accountancy too.

'With men more likely to hold more senior posts and chartered accountancy being a route into leading businesses, we must look again at how businesses are developing their pipeline of female leaders', she added.

The figures come from a joint study by the ICAEW and search firm Stott and May.

The study notes that the working patters and employment situations of male and female accountants often differ greatly.

It found that men are more likely to work in senior roles in the private sector and regions where salaries are typically higher, while women are more likely to work part-time and in public or not-for-profit organisations.

The CEO of Stott and May, Stephen Stott, thinks the pay gap is the result of a lack of flexible working patters, which explains why women are more likely to work part-time.

'To help achieve equality, companies must ensure they offer a working culture that supports career growth for women and men, and this means being more flexible to new ways of working,' said Stott.

'Companies must consider childcare responsibilities, which disproportionately affects women, and how they can support all employees with work-life balance'.

Sharron Gunn added: 'You can't ignore half of the working population and the opportunities it will bring to business.

'It is therefore more important than ever for businesses to reflect how they create work environments that inspire talented people, whether male or female and from whatever background, to become business leaders'.

New measures will be introduced in 12 months' time, where organisations of more than 250 employees will have to report gender pay differences annually or face a fine.


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