Gender pay gap : Are perceptions true to reality?

We asked 857 UK employees if they thought their industry had a gender pay gap. We then compared their answers to salaries from 50,000 professionals in those specific industries. Results show that while many men are unaware of it, most industries do not pay women as much as men, with pay gaps reaching up to 30%.

Is there a gender gap in your industry ?

Perception vs reality

Gender % who think there is a gender gap Median Compensation* Pay Gap
Financial Services
Women 81% 67,000 30%
Men 55% 96,000
Consulting & Professional services
Women 67% 40,000 20%
Men 29% 50,000
Public Sector & Education
Women 78% 32,000 18%
Men 40% 39,000
Real Estate
Women 80% 32,000 16%
Men 22% 38,000
Manufacturing & Industrials
Women 100% 34,000 15%
Men 50% 40,000
Technology & Telecoms
Women 100% 41,000 15%
Men 59% 48,000

*Salary + bonus

The elephant in the room : The financial services industry has the largest gender pay gap in our sample (30%), mostly due to opaque bonus policies. On the upside, our results show awareness of the issue with both female and male finance professionals agreeing that their industry has a gender bias (81% and 55% respectively).

A different kind of gap: While the pay gap in the technology industry is relatively low (15%), both men and women strongly agree that gender discrimination is an issue (100% of female employees and 59% of male employees), a sentiment most likely emphasized by the low proportion of women in the industry: according to our data, 8 out of 10 employees working for technology firms are men. 

Do you really work in the same industry? The gender pay gap in real estate is one of the lowest (16%), but male professionals seem blissfully unaware of it altogether. Only 22% think there is a gender gap in their industry, compared to 80% of their female colleagues.

Alice Leguay, Co-Founder and COO at said : 'In most industries, the lack of transparency when it comes to salaries and, most of all bonuses, has precluded victims of the gender pay gap from spotting it altogether. However, it is comforting to see that in the worst offending sectors, such as technology and finance, employees of both sexes perceive inequality as an issue, which is a sign it is being addressed. Thanks to companies, regulators and the media raising awareness of the gender pay gap and the upcoming requirements for firms to disclose remuneration levels, there may well be a sharp decline in the gender pay gap in the next few years as it becomes unacceptable to professionals and shareholders.'


Emolument provides bonus and salary statistics based on data submitted directly by professionals like you. It is free, anonymous, and already a trusted tool for thousands of professionals worldwide. Are you paid enough? Click here to find out now.

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