I’ve written about a number of industries recently where either female representation is disproportionately low or there is a significant gender pay gap.
But today I wanted to write about the narrowing of a gender pay gap – in the field of accountancy. A salary survey published this week by international consultants Stott and May and the ICAEW – the professional membership body for accountants – found the pay is narrowing between male and female chartered accountants aged under 30.
While there is not yet complete parity, the latest figures are very encouraging. The statistics revealed that pay of chartered accountants (under 30) for women was £48,500 while their male counterparts received £50,200.
There is still a long way to go, but the industry has worked hard with initiatives such as the The Women in Finance Network which was launched in September 2006 by the ICAEW. Its aim has been to share experiences and to help members with personal development.
They have a distinct set of goals, which includes helping to ensure women are equipped with essential skills which support them to return to the workplace following a period of leave such as a career break following child birth.
The ICAEW also holds a ‘Women in Leadership’ programme which encourages mid to senior level women prepare for board level positions. It’s an intensive nine month programme which focuses on leadership skills through peer-to-peer learning, one-to-one mentoring sessions and workshops.
The ICAEW also monitors salaries which are measured in comparison to industry averages through an annual career benchmarking survey. The results highlight the inequality in pay which exists between men and women.
While a gap still exists, the narrowing of the gap is encouraging. I’ve no doubt the work of the ICAEW has played a significant role in assisting in this. Its hard work is paying off, but the amount of work it does provides a good indication of the level of effort required in order to achieve, or at least work towards achieving gender equality.