Salaries drop for female accountants

GenderEqualityThe gender pay gap for ICAEW Chartered Accountants working in business has widened, with women over 45 seeing the biggest drop in salaries from last year, according to the latest salary survey from ICAEW and Stott & May.

According to ICAEW figures, male chartered accountants in business earn an average salary of £100,900 (€140,000) compared to females who earn an average of £63,900 (€88,750) a gap which has increased by 5.4% since 2014.

Women over 45 saw their salaries drop by £6,500 (€9,000) from last year, despite men in the same age category increasing by £4,200 (€5,800). The pay gap is narrowest among chartered accountants under 30, who also enjoyed a slight pay rise from last year.

ICAEW Commercial Executive Director, Sharron Gunn, said: “We need to face the hard truth that there has been desperately slow progress to correct the gender pay gap, given the Equal Pay Act was introduced 45 years ago. While it’s a national trend across all professions, we have a gender pay gap problem in accountancy too.

“With men more likely to hold more senior posts and chartered accountancy being a route into leading businesses, we must look again at how businesses are developing their pipeline of female leaders. Businesses are changing. They need to be more collaborative and diverse as they operate in an ever-interconnected world.”

Stephen Stott, CEO of executive search firm Stott and May, said businesses need to do more to facilitate women’s professional development.

“To help achieve equality, companies must ensure they offer a working culture that supports career growth for women and men, and this means being more flexible to new ways of working. Companies must consider childcare responsibilities, which disproportionately affects women, and how they can support all employees with work-life balance. To attract the best talent, organisations need to offer equal pay from the outset, and have a system in place where women can flourish and grow professionally. We must resolve the gender pay imbalance,” he remarked.