Most popular occupations in the UK – including nurses and senior care workers – have a pay gap that favours men, according to new analysis.
HR systems provider Ciphr reviewed the latest gender pay gap estimates from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to identify which female-dominated occupations (with workforces of 50,000 or more) have the widest and narrowest gender pay gaps in 2022.
Ciphr’s study found that around two-thirds (65%) of professions with a predominantly female workforce (where over 60% of workers are women) have gender pay gaps in favour of men – which means men are paid more per hour on average. Only 2% have no reported pay gaps, and a third have gender pay gaps in favour of women.
Popular career choices – those with the largest numbers of workers – appear the most likely to have pay disparities. Nearly three-quarters (72%) of the female-dominated occupations employing over 100,000 people in the UK have a gender pay gap in favour of men. For female-dominated occupations with workforces of over 330,000, over 8 in 10 (82%) have gender pay gaps in favour of men.
Some of the occupations with the largest gender pay gaps (and workforces over 100,000) include functional managers and directors (including town clerks, planning managers, research directors and trade union managers) and legal associate professionals (including legal assistants, litigators, data protection officers, and land registrars). The average gender pay gaps for these occupational groups are 21.3% and 16.8% respectively.
There’s also around a 12% gender pay gap for office managers and local government administrative occupations (12.5% and 12.1% respectively).
The fourth-largest profession in the UK, with over half a million full- and part-time employees, is other administrative occupations – which includes numerous administrative and clerical roles. While nearly three-quarters (74%) of these workers are women, it has an 8.9% gender pay gap in favour of men.
Around two-thirds of the UK’s human resource managers and directors, bookkeepers, payroll managers and wages clerks, and records clerks and assistants, are women, yet all these job roles have a gender pay gap of nearly 7% in favour of men (6.5%, 6.9%, and 6.5% respectively).
An even greater proportion of receptionists and teaching assistants in the UK are women (89-90%), yet both these careers have a gender pay gap of 5.1% in favour of men.
Some of the other female-dominated occupations with pay gaps over 5% (and workforces of less than 100,000) include PR professionals, cleaning and housekeeping managers and supervisors, bank and post office clerks, specialist nurses, and project support officers
Nearly six million workers – around four million of which are women – are employed in female-dominated careers with a gender pay gap of 1% or higher in favour of men.
The top 10 most popular female-dominated jobs in the UK (and their gender pay gaps), ranked by the number of people employed:
- Other nursing professionals – including nurses: 814,000 employees (0.2% gender pay gap)
- Sales and retail assistants: 737,400 employees (2.8%)
- Care workers and home carers: 731,100 employees (-1.0%)
- Other administrative occupations – including admin and clerical assistants: 576,500 employees (8.9%)
- Kitchen and catering assistants: 443,000 employees (-1.1%)
- Nursing auxiliaries and assistants: 438,600 employees (1.4%)
- Bookkeepers, payroll managers and wages clerks: 401,100 employees (6.5%)
- Primary education teaching professionals: 368,500 employees (0.6%)
- Teaching assistants: 349,100 employees (5.1%)
- Secondary education teaching professionals: 347,900 (2.3%)
To read the full analysis, head over to our sister site HR Briefing.