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Closing the gender pay gap

28/07/15

According to Marks Sattin’s 2015 Market Insight, accountants are relatively well remunerated compared to the national picture with an average annual salary of over £67,000. However, this figure does not take into account that according to our upcoming white paper female accountants only earn 81% of the amount their male counterparts do – meaning there is a significant pay gap (or rather gulf!) to close.

The government’s pledge to eliminate the inconsistency is therefore welcome, and will contribute to the continued success of British industry which is reliant on attracting the very highest calibre of talent regardless of background. The more diverse a company’s employees the more it will benefit and prosper from a variety of perspectives, to enhance the understanding of its customers and markets.

While much of the government’s new strategy will focus on helping women at the lower end of the pay spectrum, there will also be big, positive changes for the accounting and financial services industry. Given the fact that 84% of FTSE 100 companies already have an ICAEW qualified board member, female accountants will undoubtedly benefit from moves to ensure at least 25% of these companies’ boards are female – double the amount recorded in 2010.

The government is also promising to ensure that companies with more than 250 employees will have to publish the details of any existing pay gap within their organisations. Scrutiny over gender disparity in the industry will not just fall on large multinationals like the Big Four, but will be extended to many national and regional firms across the UK. 

Our research highlights that 51% of female accountants feel their gender has held them back. Government and industry alike need to work hard to ensure 100% of women working in accountancy, or any sector, feel their gender presents no obstacle to partnership, directorship, or equality. 

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