May 20, 2024

Female travel executives earn nearly 15% less than male counterparts

The gender gap in salaries for executive roles in the travel industry is getting wider, according to figures out today.

Analysis of 2022 salaries by C&M Travel Recruitment showed there was a stark difference in salaries for executive roles (those paying £40,000 and above), with the average male earning £55,792 – £7,402 (or 14.21%) more than a female counterpart.

This gap has increased from 11.94% in 2019 and 10.56% in 2018.

However, for more junior roles (those paying up to £22,000), salaries are almost equal, with the average man earning £85 more than a woman.

For mid-level positions (those paying between £22,001 and £29,999) females were paid £103 more than males.

Due to the significant difference in salaries for high-end jobs, the overall pay gap in the travel industry stands at 11.50% (or £3,606), which is slightly down from 14.15% in 2019.

In terms of the overall gender split in travel, females continued to be awarded the vast majority of new jobs with a total of 70.7% in 2022, up from 68.7% in 2019 and 68.6% in 2018.

Females took 81.6% of all entry-level positions last year, up from 70.8% in 2019, and 76.8% of all mid-level roles, up from 72.9% in 2019.

For senior roles, females were awarded 66% of all new jobs in 2022, compared to 69.9% in 2019.

Just over half (55%) of all executive roles were taken by females, compared to 53.2% in 2019 and just 38.1% in 2018.

Speaking about the findings, Barbara Kolosinska, Managing Director at C&M Travel Recruitment, said: “On the face of it, these figures make for good reading – the gender pay gap has been almost eliminated at nearly all levels of the travel industry.

“However, even though we are now seeing women being awarded the majority of executive positions in travel, men continue to dominate roles in the £70,000-plus range – and these top-end jobs account for the overall gap in pay that we are seeing.

“The travel industry has come a long way from just a few years ago, with more and more women being placed in higher-salaried roles, but more work still needs to be done. There is a real opportunity for travel to lead the way by creating true pay parity at all levels and eliminating the gender pay gap for good, but this will not happen until we start seeing more women being awarded the very top jobs.”

Lindsay Garvey-Jones, Chair at The Association of Women Travel Executives (AWTE), said: “The gender pay gap is a multifaceted issue with various factors at play. While some argue that it may not always be outright discrimination, choices are often influenced by circumstances and lack of education or awareness. Although businesses are now required to submit data on the gender pay gap, this data alone does not provide a comprehensive picture.

“Many women in our industry face complex choices regarding career advancement, often due to family responsibilities or health-related events like menopause or caregiving. These challenges can hinder their confidence and progress.

“Additionally, women tend to gravitate towards certain roles in industries like aviation, which are traditionally lower-paying. This raises questions about the industry’s role in promoting diverse career options to women during their education.

“To address the gender pay gap, it is crucial to prioritise initiatives that tackle these underlying issues. By taking proactive steps, we can aim to close the pay gap much sooner than the predicted 202-year timeline [forecast by the World Economic Forum] and create a better future for generations to come.”