Data from job search engine Adzuna has found the UK’s gender pay gap widened to 35 per cent in March 2024, hitting a two-year peak. Women in traditionally male-dominated sectors are bearing the brunt of the widening disparities.

The study analysed 672,311 CVs uploaded to Adzuna’s AI-powered CV screening tool ValueMyCV between January 2022 and March 2024, to reveal the average earning likelihood of male and female jobseekers, exposing the most sexist sectors and job titles in the UK.

Alarmingly, women in the UK earned 65 pence for every pound earned by men in March 2024, representing a staggering 35.2 per cent gender pay gap – up from 27.6 per cent in March 2023 and 23.6 per cent in March 2022.

Overall, data shows that gender pay disparities heavily favour men working in traditionally male-dominated sectors. Engineering and Construction appear to be the most sexist sectors in the UK in the first quarter of 2024, with men in these sectors earning over 50 per cent more than women on average. In March 2024, the gender pay gap in Engineering was recorded at 53 per cent, while Construction reported a gap of 52 per cent – meaning that women in engineering and construction earned 47 pence and 48 pence respectively, for every pound earned by men.

Similarly, women in Management & Consulting earned 40.1 per cent less than their male colleagues, while women in Sports faced a 39.2 per cent pay disparity on average.

Compared to a year ago, the majority of Britain’s most sexist sectors have unfortunately become even more biased, with Legal (+26 per cent), Engineering (+23.1 per cent), Management & Consulting (+19.1 per cent), Sales (+17.5 per cent), and Marketing (+15.8 per cent) leading the slippery slope (table 5). The only exceptions are Aerospace and Banking & Finance. Despite facing significant gender pay gaps, substantial progress has been made in the past year. The gender pay gap in aerospace narrowed by 26 percentage points, dropping from 55.3 per cent in Q1 2023 to 29.3 per cent in Q1 2024. Meanwhile, the gender pay gap in banking & finance shrank by -7.9 percentage points, reaching 29.5 per cent in Q1 2024 from 37.4 per cent in Q1 2023.

Looking closer, women working as Software testers are the biggest victims of the gender pay gap (Table 2), earning 74.7 per cent less than their male colleagues on average in Q1 2024. Women employed as Commercial sales representatives and Data analysts are starkly affected as well, with a gap of 53.7 per cent and 53.1 per cent respectively.

On the other side of the spectrum, Caretaking & Cleaning is the least sexist sector in the UK with a gap of -0.4 per cent (Table 3). Medicine is the second sector with a relatively narrow gender pay gap of 4.1 per cent, meaning women in medicine earned 4.1 per cent less than their male counterparts on average. Social services ranks third with a gender pay gap of -5.8 per cent, followed closely by the Media sector (6 per cent).

In terms of jobs, Web developer and Photographer are the two jobs where gender has no impact on salary discrepancies.

Women have an advantage over men in the Secretarial and Graduate sectors. In Q1 2024, women in secretarial earned 11.2 per cent more than male. Meanwhile, female graduates earned an average of 10.6 per cent more than male graduates, signaling a positive trend toward better gender parity in the future.

Delving into specific professions, the role of Web designer tips heavily in favour of women (Table 4), with female web designers earning £1.69 for every pound earned by men. Notably, while a lot of the roles listed are historically female-centric, there are two roles within the traditionally male-dominated sectors that buck the trend: Litigation executive and IT support engineer. Female litigation executives out-earned their male colleagues by 30 per cent, while female IT support engineers out-earned male by 25 per cent.

To empower jobseekers and employers to identify potential gender pay gaps and make more informed decisions, Adzuna is today announcing a powerful new addition to its free AI-powered CV screening tool ValueMyCV. Jobseekers can now check the gender pay gap of their job, as well as obtain an estimate of their market value based on their CV, tips to enhance their CV, and advice on their next career move.

“Despite heightened awareness and concerted efforts towards advancing pay parity, Britain’s gender disparities remain a headache, as the gender pay gap reached a shocking two-year peak of 35 per cent in March 2024,” said Andrew Hunter, co-founder of Adzuna. “The persisting widening pay gap is particularly prevalent among traditionally male-dominated sectors such as Engineering and Construction, reflecting ongoing occupational segregation and deeply-rooted societal bias in the country. Gender pay gaps exceeding 50 per cent are indefensible. Employers must act decisively to close the gender pay gap by ensuring equal pay and increasing female representation in senior leadership positions.”

To combat the issue, Adzuna have announced a new feature to their CV screening tool ValueMyCV. “Through uncovering the gender pay gap of specific roles, jobseekers can leverage the insight for more strategic job searches and salary negotiations, while employers can identify and address potential pay disparities to promote fairer compensation in the workplace,” Hunter explains.

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