By Jaimie Kaffash
19 August 2010
The gender gap is closing in the public sector far quicker
than in the private sector but the government's spending cuts could slow this down, according to the author of a report out today.
The CharteredManagement Institute’s 2010 National
management salary survey showed that, overall, women’s pay increased by
2.8% over the past 12 months compared with 2.3% for men. But in the public
sector, women’s pay is increasing
by four times the amount of men’s.
The gender pay gap between managers in the public sector is
currently £6,837, compared with around £10,00 nationally. However, the figure
is £1,446 for junior executives – which is higher than the national average of
The institute has calculated that, if trends stay the same, the pay gap in the public
sector will be closed in ten years, compared with 57 years in the private
The CMI’s head of policy, Petra
Wilton, told Public Finance: ‘It is a positive story in the public sector and
at the current rate organisations are far ahead of the other sectors to reach
equal pay. There has been more progress in the sector, particularly in
transparency, which will help. We are also seeing high levels of female
resignations, meaning they are moving across departments, which will account for
why females are catching up.’
‘But the public sector spending cuts
will diminish the rate at which we achieve equality. It is likely that there
will be pay freezes, which will affect how quickly we lessen the gap.’
She added that there is a greater
number of females being made redundant – 4.5% compared with 3% of men.
Unison’s head of local government Heather Wakefield agreedthat spending cuts would
widen the gender pay gap.
‘The ten years
it will take to close the pay gap in the public sector is still ten years too
long given that people have had 40 years already to close the gap,’ she told PF.
‘What is happening with cuts and employers working away from
doing positive single status agreements in local government and the NHS being
freed up for competition, we are likely to see a bigger gender gap in the
A recent legal challenge from the FawcettSociety questioned whether the June Budget was unlawful as public sector
job losses will hit women harder than men.
Heather Wakefield’s discusses the impact of spending cuts in