Gender pay gap

Gender pay gap statistics 2022

Popular occupations in the UK and their gender pay gaps

Nearly 8 in 10 (79%) occupations that employ 50,000 people or more (including full and part time workers) have gender pay gaps in favour of men. Only 2% of these job roles have no reported pay gaps, while nearly one in five (19%) have gender pay gaps in favour of women.

Occupations with larger numbers of employees appear to be more likely to have a gender pay gap. Over eight in 10 (84%) occupations that employ 215,000 people or more in the UK have gender pay gaps in favour of men – ranging from 0.2% for nurses to 27.9% for financial managers and directors.

While one in eight (12%) occupations that employ 215,000 people or more have gender pay gaps in favour of women – ranging from -1% for care workers to -1.6% for waiting staff (a minus gender pay gap means that women’s average hourly rates of pay are higher than a man’s average hourly rates of pay for this job). Only 2% of these job roles have no reported pay gaps.

Across occupations, the median gender pay gap in favour of men in the UK is 14.9% in 2022, down slightly from 15.1% in 2021. The average median gender pay gap for full-time workers is 8.3%, up slightly from 7.7% in 2021.

The gender pay gaps for the 25 jobs with the most employees in the UK in 2022 are:

wdt_ID Occupation Estimated number of employees* Average median gender pay gap in 2021 Average median gender pay gap in 2022
1 Other nursing professionals (including registered nurse, matron and sister) 814,000 0.2
2 Sales and retail assistants 737,400 5.0 2.8
3 Care workers and home carers 731,100 1.6 -1.0
4 Other administrative occupations n.e.c. (including administrative assistant, clerical assistant and office administrator) 576,500 10.4 8.9
5 Warehouse operatives 542,000 5.7
6 Sales accounts and business development managers 476,800 12.5 8.8
7 Kitchen and catering assistants 443,000 1.0 -1.1
8 Programmers and software development professionals 439,700 4.8 11.7
9 Nursing auxiliaries and assistants 438,600 3.4 1.4
10 Book-keepers, payroll managers and wages clerks 401,100 7.9 6.5
Occupation Estimated number of employees* Average median gender pay gap in 2021 Average median gender pay gap in 2022

*Workforce figures taken from NOMIS (Jan-Dec 2021 data) and ONS’ latest Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) estimates. Due to the introduction of new SOC2020 occupational codes, there is no comparable gender pay gap data for 2021 for Other nursing professionals, Warehouse operatives, and Primary education teaching professionals.

The ONS' 2022 UK gender pay gap data includes 412 jobs in total (however, estimates are considered unreliable for 82 of these occupations). Of the remaining 330 jobs with reliable estimates: 77.6% have a gender pay gap in favour of men, 21.2% have a gender pay gap in favour of women, and 1.2% have no gender pay gap.

Looking just at the gender pay gap data for full-time workers (omitting unreliable estimates): 78.3% have a gender pay gap in favour of men, 20.7% have a gender pay gap in favour of women, and 1% have no gender pay gap.

For part-time workers (omitting unreliable estimates): 48% have a gender pay gap in favour of men, 49.1% have a gender pay gap in favour of women, and 2.9% have no gender pay gap.

Female-dominated careers with the widest gender pay gaps

Ciphr reviewed the 2022 gender pay gap data to find out whether occupations that have more female employees than male employees also have widespread gender pay gaps. According to the findings, many female-dominated occupations (where over 60% of workers in these roles are women) in the UK do have gender pay gaps.

Two-thirds (65%) of female-dominated occupations that employ 50,000 workers or more have gender pay gaps in favour of men. Only 2% of these have no reported pay gaps, while a third (33%) have gender pay gaps in favour of women.

All workers

Gender Pay Gap widens with age

According to the ONS, the gender pay gap in favour of men is wider for employees over 40 years old than those under 40 years old.

To illustrate the difference in the gender pay gap between different age groups, Ciphr created a chart mapping how the gender pay gap changes for workers aged 18-39 years old and those over 40 years across the UK.

Note: Geographical data shown above is for full-time employees and by place of work (not by place of residence). The median gender pay gaps for 18-21, 22-29, 30-39 age groups were averaged (with equal weighting) to create the 18-39 years old results, and the median gender pay gaps for 40-49, 50-59 and 60+ age groups were averaged (with equal weighting) to create the 40+ years old results.

Gender pay gap by age and occupational group

According to the ONS’ figures, the gender pay gap for full-time workers jumps from 3.2% for people in their thirties to 10.9% for those in their forties (and higher still for 50+ year-olds).

The data for occupational groups that have workforces of over a million people or more, show similar pay gap increases. The gender pay gap for business and public service associate professionals, for example, rises from 7.7% for workers aged 30-39 to 15.2% for those aged 40-49. While the gender pay gap for science, engineering and technology associate (STEM) professionals in their twenties is 2.3%, in their thirties it’s 8.3%, and by their forties it’s 12.2%.

The chart below shows the differences in the average median gender pay gaps for full-time workers by age and occupation:

Which UK towns and cities have the widest gender pay gaps in favour of men?

Ciphr compared gender pay gap data for 120 major towns and cities in England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland to identify which places have the widest and smallest gender pay gaps for full-time workers in 2022.

Bracknell, Colchester, Solihull, and Nuneaton topped the list with the widest gender pay gaps in favour of male full-time workers.

Organisations based in these three towns have gender pay gaps of 25.6%, 22.9%, 22.2% and 22.2% respectively.

Other cities with gender pay gaps of 20% or more include York (gender pay gaps of 21.1%), Swindon (20.6%), and Harlow (20.5%). Derby, Stevenage, and Southend-on-Sea are also in the top ten, with gender pay gaps of around 19%.

In comparison, Scottish and Welsh cities tend to have lower gender pay gaps for full-time workers, with the widest in Edinburgh (10.4%), Glasgow (10.3%) and Cardiff (8.2%). (Comparable city data for Northern Ireland was not available.)

UK towns and cities with the lowest (under 1%) gender pay gaps in favour of men include Burnley (0.7%), Plymouth (0.6%), and Newcastle-under-Lyme (0.2%).

Northern Ireland has the lowest gender pay gap for full-time workers at -4.6%, with Scotland at 3.7%, Wales at 6.1%, and England at 9.3%.

1. Bracknell

25.6%

Average median gender pay gap

2. Colchester

22.9%

Average median gender pay gap

3. Solihull

22.2%

Average median gender pay gap

4. Nuneaton

22.2%

Average median gender pay gap

5. York

21.1%

Average median gender pay gap

6. Swindon

20.6%

Average median gender pay gap

7. Harlow

20.5%

Average median gender pay gap

8. Derby

19.8%

Average median gender pay gap

9. Stevenage

19.2%

Average median gender pay gap

10. Southend-on-Sea

19.0%

Average median gender pay gap

11. Birmingham

18.4%

Average median gender pay gap

12. Cambridge

17.8%

Average median gender pay gap

13. Reading

17.2%

Average median gender pay gap

14. Darlington

17.1%

Average median gender pay gap

15. Coventry

16.7%

Average median gender pay gap

Note: Geographical data shown above is for full-time employees and by place of work (not by place of residence). Comparable gender pay gap data was not available for a number of UK towns and cities, including Belfast and Derry.

UK towns and cities with the widest gender pay gaps in favour of women

Sutton, Rochdale, and Bedford topped the list with the widest gender pay gaps in favour of female full-time workers.

Organisations based in these three towns have gender pay gaps of -17.%, -8.9%, and -6% respectively.

wdt_ID Town / city Average median gender pay gap for full-time workers
1 Sutton -17.3
2 Rochdale -8.9
3 Bedford -6.0
4 Sunderland -4.8
5 Blackburn -4.3
6 Wolverhampton -2.8
7 Swansea / Abertawe -2.7
8 Watford -2.6
9 Eastbourne -2.1
10 Bolton -2.0
Town / city Average median gender pay gap for full-time workers

Which parts of the UK have the widest gender pay gaps in favour of men?

England leads the four nations when it comes to the widest gender pay gaps in favour of men. With the exception of the North East, all English regions have higher gender pay gaps than Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The South East, East Midlands, and London top the list of places with the widest gender pay gaps. Organisations based in these areas have gender pay gaps of 12.5%, 11.6%, and 11.4% respectively.

wdt_ID Part of the UK Average median gender pay gap for full-time workers (%) Average median annual salary for full-time workers Amount women are typically paid for every pound earned by a man
1 South East 12.5 34,431 88
2 East Midlands 11.6 30,326 88
3 London 11.2 41,866 89
4 West Midlands 10.8 31,601 89
5 East of England 10.5 32,539 90
6 South West 10.5 31,339 90
7 Yorkshire and The Humber 10.4 30,000 90
8 North West 9.2 30,716 91
9 UK average 8.3 33,000 92
10 Wales 6.1 30,596 94
11 North East 5.8 29,521 94
12 Scotland 3.7 33,332 96
13 Northern Ireland -4.6 30,000 105
Part of the UK Average median gender pay gap for full-time workers (%) Average median annual salary for full-time workers Amount women are typically paid for every pound earned by a man

Note: Geographical data shown above is for full-time employees and by place of work (not by place of residence).

Which occupations have the widest gender pay gaps in favour of men?

Looking at the data by pay disparity rather than employee numbers, there are many occupations – spanning numerous sectors – with far wider gender pay gaps for full-time workers than the UK average of 8.3%.

The top three occupations in the UK with the widest gender pay gaps in favour of men include clinical psychologists (37.4%), vehicle technicians, mechanics and electricians (34.1%), and librarians (29.9%).

wdt_ID Occupation Average median gender pay gap for full-time workers
1 Clinical psychologists 37.4
2 Vehicle technicians, mechanics and electricians 34.1
3 Librarians 29.9
4 Electrical service and maintenance mechanics and repairers 27.1
5 Business associate professionals n.e.c. 25.3
6 Water and sewerage plant operatives 24.8
7 Managers and proprietors in forestry, fishing and related services 24.3
8 Electricians and electrical fitters 23.8
9 Construction and building trades n.e.c. 23.4
10 Financial managers and directors 23.3
Occupation Average median gender pay gap for full-time workers

Occupations / job roles with the widest median gender pay gaps in favour of women in 2022

The five full-time jobs with the widest gender pay gaps in favour of women include other drivers and transport operatives n.e.c. – including transport worker, bus inspector and port assistant (-51.2%), Medical secretaries (-23%), Chartered surveyors (-20.4%), Special needs education teaching professionals (-18.6%), and energy plant operatives (-12.5%).

Only national government administrative occupations, train and tram drivers, and educational support assistants are reported to have no gender pay gaps at all (for full-time workers) in 2022.

wdt_ID Occupation Average median gender pay gap for full-time workers
1 Other drivers and transport operatives n.e.c. (including transport worker, bus inspector and port assistant) -51.2
2 Medical secretaries -23.0
3 Energy plant operatives -20.4
4 Special needs education teaching professionals -18.6
5 Chartered surveyors -12.5
6 Community nurses -10.6
7 Health services and public health managers and directors -10.5
8 Child and early years officers -10.4
9 Archivists and curators -10.4
10 Legal secretaries -10.3
Occupation Average median gender pay gap for full-time workers

Which industries in the UK have the widest gender pay gap for full-time workers?

According to the Office for National Statistics, the median annual pay for workers in full-time employement in the UK has increased by 5.7% to £33,000 in 2022. The average weekly pay is £640 and the average hourly rate is £16.37.

wdt_ID Industry Average median gender pay gap for full-time workers (%) Average median annual salary for full-time workers
1 All employees 8.3 33,000
2 Agriculture, forestry and fishing 8.1 27,300
3 Manufacturing 14.1 32,770
4 Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply 24.2 45,770
5 Water supply; sewerage, waste management and remediation activities 5.5 34,010
6 Construction 10.2 36,259
7 Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles 8.2 27,864
8 Transportation and storage 4.9 34,028
9 Accommodation and food service activities 1.6 22,964
10 Information and communication 14.3 42,071
Industry Average median gender pay gap for full-time workers (%) Average median annual salary for full-time workers

To see how your hourly rate compares with the UK average, try Ciphr’s hourly wage calculator.

Notes

All data and wage gap statistics sourced from the Office for National Statistics (ONS):

Ciphr used the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Major Towns and Cities list (which included 112 English and Welsh towns and cities) as the initial base for this study (https://www.ons.gov.uk/aboutus/transparencyandgovernance/freedomofinformationfoi/townsandcitiesintheuk). To ensure the list represented the whole of the UK, eight towns and cities in Scotland and Northern Ireland, with populations of over 75,000, were added.

Further reading:

Gender pay gap reporting 2022: what’s required? Ciphr answers some of the most common questions about gender pay gap reports — From the snapshot date and reporting deadline, to where to view other employers’ reports.

Most British workers likely to underestimate their employer’s gender pay gap: Despite most British workers (96%) agreeing that the UK has a gender pay gap, as many as 57% don’t believe there are any gender pay disparities in their own workplaces.

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