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June 5, 2023

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More women are entering the safety sector and the gender pay gap is closing, research has shown

More women are entering the safety sector and the gender pay gap is closing, but 71% of the industry remains to be men.

The results have come from the Salary and Insights Survey 2023, carried out by Shirley Parsons.

Tayla Brown, Careers Consultant at Shirley Parsons

It revealed just 28% of those in the HSEQ sector surveyed are women and 1% preferred not to say.

On average women earn 6.2% less than men – down from 6.8% last year.

Tayla Brown, Careers Consultant at Shirley Parsons, said: “It’s great to see the growth of women in the industry over the last year, with an increase at each seniority level.
“We prioritise diversity and inclusion when partnering with our clients and always look to provide solutions and advice on how to ensure this continues to grow year on year.”

The survey showed an imbalance in gender in hierarchical positions in the safety sector. Nearly 37% of non managerial positions are female – a significant increase on last year – but only 14% of directors are female.

Senior management mostly men

Almost 75% of heads of department, 62% of managers and 71% of team leaders are men.

Emily Swindlehurst, Lead Careers Consultant at Shirley Parsons

In terms of pay, at the most junior level women earn more than men – £47,400 compared to £45,800 – but at director level men earn around 10% more than their female counterparts, £73,800 compared to £67,300.

The difference in average salary between genders has not changed since 2022 and remains at £12,000 more for men than women.

In sustainability, 65% of the respondents identified as a man and 35% as a woman.
Average salaries are higher than HSEQ, with Directors earning £124k on average and managers around £70k.

Emily Swindlehurst, Lead Careers Consultant at Shirley Parsons, said: “The gender diversity figures from the survey surprised me slightly.
“If anything, our sustainability team speak to more female managers and candidates than male but it is encouraging to see at least a third of our survey completers are female.
“The average salaries look about right but there is a lot of variation in sustainability salaries.
“Many companies are only just building their teams so benchmarking the level and the pay grade of those positions is a challenge for them.”

For more information or to see the full survey results contact Shirley Parsons here.

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