Research by the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAE) indicates that the gender pay gap is smaller in the engineering profession than the UK employee average.
The mean (10.8%) and median (11.4%) pay gap for engineers in the sample analysed is around two thirds the national average.
Although the gap is less than feared, the report finds that closing it will take concerted effort within the engineering profession. One well-recognised issue that is contributing to the gap is the lack of women going into the profession, and while attempts have been made to address this, progress is disappointingly slow.
The report recommends actions that go beyond addressing this initial recruitment challenge through addressing the retention and progression of women to more senior and higher paid roles. The actions it recommends as most effective include implementing transparent pay structures and grades, reviewing promotion criteria and introducing flexible working options for senior roles.
The report confirms that underrepresentation of women in senior roles – rather than unequal pay – is the single largest cause of the pay gap. The factors that most contributed to pay variance in the sample included career level (40%), type of employer (12%), age (6%) and the annual revenue of the employer (5%). Just 9% of engineers in the top career grade in the sample were female and women accounted for only 8% of those in the upper pay quartile.