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Equal bonuses still prove elusive for women: Report

Arjun Kharpal, special to CNBC.com
Tuesday, 20 Aug 2013 | 7:25 AM ET
Steve Debenport | E+ | Getty Images

Male managers earn bonuses twice as big as their female counterparts, on top of an existing gender gap in fixed salaries, according to a new survey.

Men receive £6,442 ($ 10,082) on average in annual bonuses, compared to £3,029 ($4741) for women, who also receive a 25 per cent lower salary than men. Over a working lifetime, men stand to earn over £141,500 more in bonuses than women doing the same role, the National Management Salary Survey revealed on Monday.

The U.K. survey, carried out by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and human resource specialist XpertHR, showed the salary and bonus gap widened as employees moved up the management ladder, with a large difference in pay between genders at the top levels. Male directors received an average of £63,700 in bonuses, while women were awarded just £36,270.

(Read more: EU aims to get 40% of top positions filled by women)

"Despite genuine efforts to get more women onto boards, it's disappointing to find that not only has progress stalled, but women are also losing ground at senior levels," said Ann Francke, CMI Chief Executive. "The time has come to tackle this situation more systemically."

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Men are more likely than women to win bonuses at all management levels, but the gap is biggest at the director level, with 42 per cent of female directors taking home a bonus in the 12 months from March 2012, compared to 52 per cent of men.

XpertHR's head of salary surveys, Mark Crail, said women entered occupations where there was less of a culture of bonus payments. "The question for employers is why that's the case," Crail said.

(Read More: Want to boost shareholder returns? Hire a woman)

While women constitute nearly two-thirds of entry-level staff, they fall of the career ladder at a later stage, with just 44.3 per cent of women in middle management positions, and less than a quarter at director level.

Francke said that a lack of diversity in organisations damages business.

"Diversity delivers results. If organisations don't tap into and develop their female talent right through to the highest levels, they will miss out on growth, employee engagement, and more ethical management cultures. And that's not good for business," she said.

(Slideshow: 12 Jobs Where Women Win on Gender Pay)

The CMI study surveyed 43,201 employees working in executive positions across U.K. organisations.

Bonuses paid in the U.K. totaled £36.9 billion between April 2012 and March 2013, up 1 percent on a year earlier, according to numbers published by the Office for National Statistics on Tuesday.

—By CNBC's Arjun Kharpal: Follow him on Twitter @ArjunKharpal and @CNBCWorld

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