New research, from accountancy firm SJD, observed the salaries of UK workers and shows that those in contractor roles are closing the gap in pay between men and women. The data highlights that contractors are much more likely to earn a similar amount, regardless of gender, compared with permanent employment where men are often paid more than women.

Leading industries include manufacturing, where this is no gap between male and female contractor roles, while healthcare is a sector where women are paid a lot more (42%) than men. This is compared with industries where women in permanent roles were found to be paid up to 49% less than men for doing the same job.

Industries where pay gaps are particularly small for contractors include financial service (1%), engineering (6%) and IT (8%). Creative media and telecommunications also both have gaps of 10%. This is compared with permanent employment, where IT, creative media, and engineering have the largest pay gaps at 30%, 26% and 25% respectively.

SJD collected the data by completing a survey of 1000 British contractors. The company gathered data on their salary to understand which sectors are closing the gap and which are still struggling to find parity. The information, which pulled in data from SJD’s UK-wide survey and official government reporting, has been launched as an interactive tool to help workers understand how badly their industry is affected.

Derek Kelly said

“The gender pay gap has been a topic of increasing conversation for many years. This tool helps to give workers, whether in permanent or temporary roles, more of an insight into the pay gap within their industry. This improves understanding of the pay issues within certain sectors and where changes need to be made.”

The results from the survey highlight that more needs to be done to close this gap, especially as contractors can see themselves earning more than their full-time counterparts. While there are still wage gaps in industries for contractor roles, the data shows the industry is progressing and moving away from the gender pay gap issue.