May 18, 2024

C&M: Women in business travel paid more than men –but not at the top

A woman working in the business travel sector earned 4.31% more than her male equivalents last year, according to the latest figures from recruitment specialist C&M.

This is in contrast to 2022 when the average male working in business travel earned 2.03% more than their female equivalents.

Furthermore, the percentage of new jobs in business travel awarded to females increased to 69.5% in 2023 up from 67.9% in 2022.

These findings are from new research by C&M Travel Recruitment, which examines the gender pay gap in the wider travel industry. The report also showed that this gap marginally narrowed in 2023.

This is a small win for women in business travel, as the typical female working in travel – leisure and business – fares less well.

They took home 11.15% less than their male equivalent last year, compared to a gap of 11.50% in 2022, 6.48% in 2021 and 14.15% in 2019.

This resulted in a gender pay gap of £3,678 in 2023, with women earning an average of £32,989 while men received £36,667.

However, this overall gap can almost solely be attributed to the stark difference in pay for those in the highest salaried jobs.

The pay gap for executive roles (those paying £40,000 and above) widened considerably from 14.21% in 2022 to 38.45% in 2023, with the majority of positions with the very highest salaries being awarded to men.

Below this, salary gaps were much less significant, with the average female working in a senior role (those paying between £30,000 and £39,999) taking home £288 (or 0.86%) less than males.

For those in mid-level positions (those paying between £22,001 and £29,999), women earned £163 (or 0.62%) more than men, while for entry-level roles (those paying up to £22,000), men earned 0.27% (or £57) more than comparable women.

Overall, females continued to be awarded the majority of new jobs in the travel industry with a total of 68.3%,  slightly down from 70.7% in 2022, 68.7% in 2019 and 68.6% in 2018.

In terms of entry-level roles, females took 60% (compared to 81.6% in 2022 and 70.8% in 2019), while women were awarded 70.7% of all mid-level positions (down from 76.8% in 2022 and 72.9% in 2019).

It was a similar picture for senior travel jobs, with females taking 67.6% of all roles in 2023, compared to 66% in 2022 and 69.9% in 2019.

Interestingly, the percentage split for executive roles was at its widest since C&M’s surveys began in 2014. Females took 67.1% of all such roles in 2023 – up from 55% in 2022, 53.2% in 2019 and just 38.1% in 2018.

However, there was a very different result when looking at the very highest-salaried roles, with men being awarded 57.9% of all £60,000+ positions (compared to 50.0 per cent in 2022 and 68.8% in 2019) and 62.5% of all roles with salaries of £75,000 and above.

Barbara Kolosinska, Managing Director at C&M Travel Recruitment, said:  “For those seeking an entry-level, mid-level or senior role in the travel industry, candidates can expect to receive the same salary as their counterparts, regardless of their gender.

“However, that is not the case when we look at the top of the industry. It’s encouraging to see that more women are being placed in £40,000+ roles than just a few years ago, but men are still routinely earning more than females in these positions. And things get even more pronounced when we look at the highest salaried jobs in travel, with men being awarded the majority of these roles and earning far more than their equivalents.

“The travel industry has come a long way in recent years in terms of pay disparity, but these stats should be a stark reminder that much more needs to be done to target, support and promote women into some of the most senior roles in our sector.”