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The gender pay gap in accountancy & finance

Published on: 20 Feb 2017

GAAPweb’s recent salary survey reveals that the gender pay gap within financial services outstrips the national average by some 35%. The comprehensive research report, which shares insights from more than 4,000 UK accountancy & finance professionals, uncovers that women in finance face a drastically deepening pay divide as they climb the career ladder.

Survey results show that women are paid around £17,400 less than men across all GAAPweb job titles, with males earning an average of £67,384, compared to £49,975 for females. The 35% variance is significantly higher than the 19.2% gender pay gap reported by the Office for National Statistics.

A balanced start
Interestingly, both sides begin on a comparable footing, with junior roles demonstrating relative equality in both the gender split and annual earnings. While Purchase Ledger has the greatest parity (52% male and 48% female), Accounts Payable and Bookkeeper roles are actually dominated by female professionals – representing 74% and 71% respectively. Accounts Payable, Payroll and Purchase Ledger positions also reward women marginally better, with average salaries falling in their favour by £3,000 to £8,000. For example, a male Payroll employee can expect to earn £30,500 per year, while his female counterpart will take home £33,571.

The splintering of mid- and senior-level salaries
At mid-level, however, the figures make a striking about-face. With the exception of Management Accountant roles, where women make in the region of £39,967 (1.6% more than men), males out-earn females across almost every category. For example, the average salary for a female Credit Controller is £27,500, compared to £39,792 for a male in the same job. Finance Manager positions show a £52,823 versus £58,660 divide and Tax roles highlight a contrast of £45,167 versus £39,706.

And while the gap narrows slightly for newly-qualified Accountants and Finance Analysts, Treasury roles show the biggest overall gender pay gap, with men earning 52% more - £63,370 compared to £41,607.

Approaching the C-suite, salary differences – and the gender balance - grow even starker. Among survey participants, 91% of CFOs and 84% of Finance Directors were male, demonstrating a shocking deficit of board-level women. From Financial Planning and Analysis where males were roughly £7,000 better off each year to CFO roles where the gap almost doubled (£105,192 for women versus £119,424), our research lays bare the limited earning potential for females in finance.

The single exception within the survey was Financial Risk where women take home an average salary of £71,563 (7% more than men). The research also revealed that regardless of gender, jobseekers who found a role through GAAPweb make 26% more than candidates who secured a job elsewhere.

Turning the tide
Overall, women earn more than men in only seven of the 22 possible job titles surveyed. But despite the steep slope to pay equality, 54% of the newly-qualified professionals within our survey sample were female, suggesting more women are joining the profession. And a number of industry influencers are championing their cause.

To promote gender diversity following our research, GAAPweb – alongside a range of forward-thinking organisations – has pledged to improve gender diversity at senior level by signing up to the Women in Finance Charter. With 93 current member firms, the charter encourages government and business to work together to build a fairer and more balanced industry.

GAAPweb is proud of our 50% gender diversity within the senior management team of Trinity Mirror Digital Recruitment (the legal entity of GAAPweb). We’re also committed to promoting charter membership to our Banking & Financial Services clients who use GAAPweb to recruit their own senior finance teams.

Find out how you can help pay the way to equal pay, visit

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