Through the creation of our report Procuring Inequality, we have analysed the proportion of women in the top jobs among the highest value procurement categories.
We did this by looking at the top quartile of employment, that is to say, the 25% highest paying jobs in organisations. Within this 25% of ‘top jobs’ we look at the split between men and women.
The largest industry sector, Business Services, saw women in 41% of the top roles. Although seemingly positive and close to equality, the 9% gap from equality needs to be seen in the context of this being the largest sector, with a 13% pay gap against women. So while women are more equally represented in the Business Services sector than in some other sectors, they are less equally paid than even the national average pay gap at 11.47%.
The next largest categories, Construction and Architecture and Engineering collectively receive £133bn in contracting value. This means that in sectors that both enjoy £66-67bn in contracting value each, women are in 13% (Construction) and 20% (Architecture and Engineering) of the top quartile of employment. In other words, for Construction, only just over one in ten of the top jobs goes to women. For Architecture and Engineering, this figure is one in five.
In fact, a lack of representation of women is seen throughout much of the top 10 categories. With two exceptions, all sectors show a clear bias towards men for the top quartile of jobs. Of those 8 sectors that have a bias towards men, two sectors employed 30% or more women in top quartile jobs.
In Business Services and Research and Consultancy, women were in 41% and 35% of the top roles respectively.
The remaining 5 sectors have women in 25% or less of the top jobs. This means that for every 3 men in a top paying job there is 1 woman or less.
Software and related services have 1 woman for every 3 men at the top. IT services and Telecoms have just over 1 woman for every 4 men at the top.
These figures are concerning, and show that progress towards equality for women is unacceptably slow. There is an opportunity for the Government to examine the performance of its suppliers, and to ask for better performance against these figures.
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