In the UK, women in the accounting profession take home on average £17,000 less a year than their male counterparts, but the gap is getting narrower.
According to a study by accountancy and financial recruiter Marks Sattin based on 2015 earning figures, women working in accountancy take home £67,680 a year on average, while men are pocketing £84,970. The situation is more extreme when looking at just the bonus element of bean counters’ pay, with women being awarded £8,260 on average, 37 per cent lower than the £13,080 paid out to men. As accountants become more senior the pay gap often becomes wider. Although, this does show an improvement in comparison to 2013’s pay, where women were paid a salary worth just 79% of men’s, taking home £57,650 compared to their male co-workers’ £72,860.Women now make up 44% of full time accountants in the UK, according to figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS). For the first time in Randstad Financial & Professional ‘s history, there are more women applying for professional services jobs than men.
Moreover, head of recruitment at Sift Media, Jayne Florence, said that the rise of women in the accountancy workforce was in line with economic trends. However, she added that while nearly half joining the profession are female, less than 25% of them are partners. The increase has been driven by an increase in supply of well-qualified female talent and the effect of professional services firms’ diversity programmes. The latest admission statistics from the Universities and Colleges Admission Service (UCAS) show that of the 580,000 people that applied for places at British institutions, 333,700 of them were women.
The proportion of female professionals among the membership is slightly over one-third (35 percent) on the latest data. There is reason to expect that the share of females in the accountancy profession will continue to grow in the coming years, with the ‘intake’ into the profession being much more balanced in terms of gender. Women make up almost half (49 percent) of all accounting students registered with these seven bodies. In comparison, women have fared somewhat better than their British colleagues in America, with 23% reaching the most senior level in their firms in 2016, an increase from 17% in 2012. While this general imbalance isn’t necessarily shocking, it is confusing given the large number of women who are entering the sector.
In the US, for example, 52% of all new accounting graduates (with a bachelor’s or master’s degree) are women and, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of 2015, 63% of all accountants and auditors in the country were women. Worldwide, the Financial Reporting Council puts the percentage of women studying accounting at 50%. 63% of all accountants and auditors in the United States are women. Women make up 47% of senior managers (compared to 38% in 2011).Whereas, in Australia women who fell into the accountant and chartered accountant category had an average taxable income of $71,552.
Men in the same category, however, had an average taxable income of $105,107. These statistics are in line with recent research from KPMG, which concluded that the gender pay gap in Australia is actually worsening, despite increased public awareness and campaigning. And while organisations can do a lot to close the gap in their individual workplaces, there are structural inequities between industries and in the wider economy which must also be addressed. Business, government and the wider community all have a role to play.
Although more women than men are entering the profession (9.4% of 3103 of male graduates compared to 6.6% of 5082 female graduates), they are not being paid the same as shown by the average starting salary for women is $48,400, in direct comparison to $50,100 for men. Women in the finance sector earn the same amount as their male colleagues did a decade ago. The gender gap tends to widen with age and the senior positions, but even bonuses aren’t equal (females $8025 and males $10,612).
Moreover, the gender gap is not only reflected in numbers, but in dollars too. In Canada, for example, among female auditors, accountants or investment professionals, half will be earning C$54,960 (US$40,814), compared with C$68,314 for their male counterparts. Women are 50.5% of all auditors, accountants, and investment professionals in Canada. The median salary and wages for women auditors, accountants, and investment professionals is C$54,960.
The median salary and wages for men auditors, accountants, and investment professionals is C$68,314.