Bonuses for male managers double those of women


Bonuses for male managers double those of women

Male managers earned average bonuses (£6,442) twice as big as those of their female counterparts (£3,029) over the last 12 months. What’s more, the data published annually by CMI – the Chartered Management Institute – and salary specialists XpertHR, reveals men’s average basic salaries were almost 25% bigger – £38,169 compared with £29,667.

The National Management Salary Survey includes data from more than 43,000 UK workers in executive positions.


Key survey findings

  • Men stand to earn over £141,500 more in bonuses than women doing the same role over the course of a working lifetime.
  • Both the gender bonus and gender pay gaps are more pronounced at senior levels. At £36,270, female directors’ bonuses are dwarfed by the average amount taken home by male directors in the last year – £63,700.
  • Even without taking bonuses into account, the data shows that the gender pay gap increases with each rung of the management ladder. At entry level women are faring better, earning £989 more than men on average, but by middle-management they receive £1,760 less than men and at director level the gap widens to £15,561 (an average basic salary of £140,586 for men and £125,025 for women).
  • Men are more likely than women to get a bonus across all management levels (42.3% compared with 40.6%), but this gap is biggest at director level: 42% of female directors took home a bonus in the past year, compared with 52% of men.
  • Similarly, while male managers’ earnings (including bonuses), across all levels are rising faster (3.2%) than women’s (2.8%) for the first time in five years, male directors’ earnings rose 5.3% over the last 12 months, compared with just 1.1% for female directors.


“Roadmap” for change

In response to the findings, CMI has set out a "roadmap for culture change", focusing on three key areas:

1. Measure and report on equality. Diverse organisations perform better on hard and soft measures. All organisations should set targets for the percentage of women and men at junior, middle and top levels and publish progress against these. Government should demand this level of transparency from companies – highlighting good examples and naming and shaming those failing.

2. Extend flexible working for men and women. Flexible working options and shared parental leave will help bring about a culture shift. Greater flexibility, especially at the top, appeals to both sexes – and can help reshape cultural norms.

3. Sponsor, mentor, develop. Sponsorship and mentoring of talented women should be part of an organisation’s DNA. These opportunities give women the confidence to aspire to top roles and the skills needed to get there. Back this up with training, experience and qualifications to prepare them for future leadership roles.

A final word

“There is no good reason for men to still be earning more in bonuses than women when they are in very similar jobs. But it’s often the case that men and women have different career paths, with ‘male’ roles more likely to attract bonuses. While women are generally getting lower bonuses than men, especially at senior levels, they may be entering occupations where there is less of a culture of bonus payments. The question for employers is why that’s the case.” - Mark Crail, Head of Salary Surveys, XpertHR.

“Despite genuine efforts to get more women onto boards, it’s disappointing to find that not only has progress stalled, but women are also losing ground at senior levels. Women are the majority of the workforce at entry level but still lose out on top positions and top pay. The time has come to tackle this situation more systemically.” - Ann Francke, CMI Chief Executive.

Want to know more?

Title: 2013 National Management Salary Survey, Chartered Management Institute and XpertHR, August 2013.

Survey details: The survey is carried out by XpertHR and supported by the Chartered Management Institute. Data was collected between March 2012 and February 2013 from 43,201 employees working in executive positions in UK organisations, from junior executives to those at board level. The survey analyses salary and labour turnover data according to job role, region and certain industry sectors.

Availability: The full survey costs £780. Visit for more information.

XpertHR is an employment intelligence service for HR professionals. XpertHR Salary Surveys provide detailed pay data used by employers in reviewing and setting pay levels. For more information visit

CMI – the Chartered Management Institute – is the “only chartered professional body for management and leadership, dedicated to improving managers’ skills and growing the number of qualified managers”. For more information visit