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Accountancy gender salary gap reaches £10k in formative years

  • After 10+ years PQE men earn £26,000 more than women
  • 22% of Big Four board members are women, up 8% from 2012

The pay gap between male and female accountants increases by an average of £1,000 a year for the first 10 years of their career according to new research from specialist accountancy and finance recruiter Marks Sattin.* After the 10 year mark, the salary gap widens to a staggering £26,000.

Male accountants consistently earn more than women, with a gap of £6,433 gap growing just two years after qualification.  By 10 years PQE, the gender pay gap widens even further to £10,098. Beyond ten years’ experience, the salary gap between male and female accountants reaches £26,064 [see Table 1].

Salary gap at ten years widens by £2k since 2012

Further research reveals that the salary gap between male and female accountants in the first 10 years of the profession has risen by £2,028 in the past year. In 2012 the pay gap between male and female accountants with 10 years’ experience grew to £8,070 – while in 2013, the gap has risen to £10,098.

Reaching the boardroom - some good news

Marks Sattin’s analysis of the proportion of women in senior positions among the Big Four accounting firms shows 22% of the European and UK board positions are held by women. This is an 8% increase from the 14% in 2012+.  The findings show the four major accountancy employers are making strong headway to meet Lord Davies’ recommendation that by 2015 at least 25% of board positions in the FTSE 350 should be occupied by women.

Dave Way, Managing Director of specialist accountancy and finance recruiter Marks Sattin said,
“While an increase in female accountants reaching board level is hugely encouraging, a situation where men are continually earning more than women all the way up the career ladder is not healthy for accountancy; hopefully a more balanced seniority structure will go some way to correct this trend. The UK accountancy sector is internationally respected and an extremely important part of the economy, so it is vital that like for like pay is established if we are to attract the best talent of both genders.” 

Gender pay gap

The research also showed that male accountants are more likely to say they are satisfied with their job with 72% reporting this, compared with 60% of women. Similarly, the proportion of women feeling insecure about their job is slightly higher than men (30% compared with 28%).

Dave Way said,
“Given the results of our research it’s no wonder that women are less satisfied and less secure. This must be addressed now by a combination of factors including flexible working, more female-only networking groups and the end of any last vestiges of the old tie network that may remain.”

Marks Sattin Market Insight 2013 conducted amongst 2,016 UK accountants and finance professionals.
 +Calculated using figures from KPMG UK LLP Executive Team, PWC’s UK Executive Board, Ernst & Young’s European leadership and management committee and Deloitte’s UK executive group

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