8 in 10 of the UK’s most popular jobs have a gender pay gap

8 in 10 of the UK's most popular jobs have a gender pay gap

Eight in 10 of the UK’s most popular job roles have a gender pay gap in favour of men, new data has found.

This is according to CIPHR, which has reviewed the latest stats from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) regarding men’s and women’s median hourly rates of pay to find out which occupations, industries and geographical locations have the widest and smallest gender pay gaps in 2021.

The ONS website explained that the gender pay gap is “calculated as the difference between average hourly earnings (excluding overtime) of men and women as a proportion of men’s average hourly earnings (excluding overtime)”.

What the data found

The study revealed that 65 of the top 78 jobs (83%) with the largest number of workers in the UK, pay men more on average.

Over 17.6million people are employed in these occupations (9.4million women and 8.2million men), with the average gender pay gap (as of April 2021) ranging from -13.8% for EAs and personal assistants to 30.8% for financial managers and directors.

While many of these roles do have a lower gender pay gap than the UK average, the women in these roles are still paid less than men overall, the study uncovered.

The recent survey from CIPHR also found that most workers underestimated their employer’s gender pay gap, with over half (57%) believing that no wage gap exists where they work.

Gender pay gaps

Elsewhere, the data found that the most popular three occupations for 2021 are sales and retail assistants, care workers and home carers, and administrative/ clerical assistants.

The average gender pay gaps for these roles are five per cent, 1.7% and 10.5% respectively, despite women comprising the majority of workers in them.

In addition to this, nursing is the fourth largest occupation in the country – 86% of which are women. It has a four per cent gender pay gap in favour of men.

In the UK, women make up the majority (64%+) of the workforce in seven of the top ten jobs with the most staff. All except one have gender pay gaps in favour of men.

The ten most popular jobs in 2021, sorted by the widest gender pay gaps, are:

  1. Sales accounts and business development managers (12.5%): 461,600 workers
  2. Other administrative occupations – including admin / clerical assistants (10.5%): 641,100
  3. Bookkeepers, payroll managers and wages clerks (7.9%): 407,500 workers
  4. Elementary storage occupations – including freight handlers and warehouse workers (7.4%): 427,400 workers
  5. Sales and retail assistants (5%): 866,900 workers
  6. Programmers and software development professionals (4.8%): 421,400
  7. Nurses (4%): 547,000 workers
  8. Care workers and home carers (1.7%): 730,500 workers
  9. Primary and nursery education teaching professionals (1.6%): 401,200 workers
  10. Kitchen and catering assistants (-1%): 404,100 workers

On the other end of the scale, the five jobs with the widest gender pay gaps in favour of women include midwives (-54.9%), barristers and judges (-34.2%), veterinary nurses (-33.1%), mechanical engineers (-26.7%), and special needs education teaching professionals (-25.5%).

David Richter, Director of Marketing at CIPHR, said: “Using the latest official data from the ONS, we aimed to discover just how many of the UK’s most popular jobs – that’s occupational roles held by at least 100,000 people or more, are affected by a gender pay gap.

“Disappointingly, most of the job roles highlighted in CIPHR’s study still have a pay gap that favours men. Even after years of reforms and inclusive policies and initiatives, there’s still a long way to go to close the gap.”

HR Grapevine