The gender pay gap looks like its shrinking until you look at one really important way people get paid


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Justina Mintz/AMC

The difference between men's and women's salaries fell to a record low last year, but the so-called gender pay gap persists in bonuses, with men taking home almost twice as much in extra rewards than women.

Female workers who have graduated from university within the past five years earn an average of 17pc less than their male peers, meaning a woman earns 83pc to every £1 pocketed by a man, according to an analysis of more than 49,000 wages by the salary benchmarking website Emolument.

This pay discrepancy drops to 13pc for employees within five year of completing their MBA, who tend to be older and further along in their careers than university graduates, with the average woman earning £74,700 to a man's £86,800.

However, men in this category are awarded bonuses almost twice as high as those handed to women, taking £50,000 to an average woman's £27,000. This means that female MBA graduates take home a total pay packet that is just three quarters of what their male peers earn.

This echoes a recent Women in Financial Institutions (WiFI) report, which examined pay packages of 300,000 back-office financial services staff and found that women's bonuses add up to 16pc of their basic salary, compared to 23pc for men.


The most recent figures from the Office for National Statistics showed that the gender pay gap fell to a record low of 9.4pc for full-time employees and 19.1pc for the overall working population.

While full-time working women in their 20s and 30s earn more than men of the same age -- although the average difference is less than one percentage point -- the wage difference in the private sector rises to 17.5pc.

The UK has the sixth largest gender pay gap in the European Union, according to recent data from the statistics agency Eurostat. Across the bloc, women earned 16.4pc less than men.

A prestigious education does little to eradicate the gap in earnings, which is particularly pronounced at some of the country's best universities, Emolument's analysis found.

While the average professional woman with zero to five years of post-university experience earns £34,000 to a man's £41,000, the discrepancy rises to 19pc for Cambridge graduates (£46,900 compared to £57,700) and 21pc for alumni of University College London (£37,500 against £45,500).


However, the gender pay gaps for recent graduates of Oxford University, Imperial College and London School of Economics - where the salaries are higher than Cambridge and UCL alumni - are below average at 14pc, 11pc and 3pc respectively.

Emolument crowdsources market data by allowing users to enter their own pay details and benchmark their salaries against other workers from similar educational and professional backgrounds.

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