Senior men get paid 23% more than women at director level, according to the 2021 Work and Pay Report by, the leading channel for hiring strategic and commercial professionals, and its sister company which provides data-driven insight to employers and job seekers.

The gender pay gap is particularly substantial in senior positions and can be as high as 23% for directors, while the associate level stands at 9%.

Movemeon and Payspective’s exclusive findings reveal that half of this gap comes from bonuses, which are significantly lower for women than men.

According to the report, men at associate level (typically 2-5 years’ experience) receive 50% higher bonuses than women, on average (£14k vs. £9k).

This is despite numerous studies proving that having women in senior positions directly contributes to stronger balance sheets in companies.

Commenting on the gender pay gap, Nick Patterson, co-founder, said, “Employers must keep gathering and publishing their data around diversity and pay, or risk damaging their reputations. In 2021 women earning 23% less than their male counterparts is simply staggering. With more transparency around pay, these hugely unfair inconsistencies can begin to be ironed out.  

“With diversity, organisations benefit from a wealth of different perspectives, different points of view, richer ideas based on wide-ranging experience. Now, as we recover from the pandemic, employers must continue to offer flexible working hours and locations, providing an opportunity to get women back. Gender equality must remain high on the agenda.”

The study, compiled from 35,000 data points, also showed that the gender pay gap in 2020 was 22% compared to 19% in 2019 and 25% in 2018, indicating that the gender pay gap still presides and hasn’t changed much over the years.

When it came to job satisfaction, the study showed that men were happier in their jobs than women. Men gave an average score of 6.82 out of 10 on overall happiness with their jobs compared to 6.29 for women.

Richard Rosser, co-founder, adds, “The current economic downturn is hitting women harder than men, affecting their long-term earnings and financial security.

“Undoubtedly, men and women should be paid equally to do the same job. Companies are reporting hiring challenges, and some have reported an exiting of senior female staff. Could the fact that women are being paid less to do the same job have something to do with this? Companies need to consult their data and then act upon the results closely.

“Let’s make 2021 the year to fully recognise the economic benefit of gender-balanced workplaces and ensure we build a sustainable and inclusive economy. If we genuinely build back better, we must ensure we continue to take great strides forward, not a step backward.”