Minding the Gap

With my usual obdurate refusal to chill, I’m considering the challenge of becoming a full time feminist. Can I join? As a fellow feminists, (and men, I know you’re out there too), I should be doing more to be minding the gap. Where to start? Equal pay methinks.

Apparently women managers will have to wait 187 years to achieve equal pay with men at current rates of progress towards closing the earnings gap, the Chartered Management Institute said. Its 2008 annual salary survey showed the average woman in British management earned £32,614 in the 12 months to March, compared with £46,269 for their male counterparts.

The survey of more than 40,000 managers at all grades from trainee to director found women’s pay increased by 6.8% over the year, compared with 6.6% for the men. The institute said: “At the current level of annual pay increases, this means it will not be until 2195 before female pay outstrips men.” It would take even longer for women to achieve equal pay in the IT sector and, on current trends, female managers at board level in Scotland would not gain parity until 2366. The highest paid managers were men in London, who averaged £67,256. The lowest paid were women in Wales, who averaged £27,115.

Jo Causon, the institute’s marketing director, said: “At least with a glass ceiling it is possible to see through to the next level. However, when it comes to equal pay, it seems that the glass is now opaque. To have to wait several generations is inexcusable and it is time that the lip service of the three decades since sex discrimination was first outlawed is transformed into action.”

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