The wage gap and female presence in management 2022

18 May 2022

01The female presence in management positions declines again after the Covid-19 pandemic, standing at 16.8%, according to the 16th edition of The wage gap and female presence in management 2022 Report presented by EADA and ICSA Grupo. After several years registering a positive evolution, going from 11.8% in 2016 to 18.80% in 2021, in 2022 the share of female presence in managerial positions fell two points. This decrease is more evident in General Management positions, where women represent only 8.8%, Sales Management (7.6%) and Production Management (5.9%). In contrast, there is a greater presence of women in the Human Resources Department (32.9%) and in the Administration and Finance Department (19.5%). By company size, the share of women decreased in large companies (19.4%) and medium-sized companies (25%) and increased in small companies (55.6%). 

The second conclusion of the report is that the wage gap between men and women remains in all professional categories. In absolute figures, the current average for a manager is 88,129 euros per year while that of his female counterpart is 77,928 euros, which represents a salary difference of 13.1%. In intermediate positions we would speak of 44,020 euros per year for men compared to 39,106 euros for women (12.6%) and in the case of employees, they earn 28,127 euros per year and women 25,243 euros (11.4%).

In addition, the EADA and ICSA report confirms that women are even better prepared than men at the training level, although they have lower salaries assuming the same positions. Thus, 42.8% of women have a master's or postgraduate degree compared to 42.4% of men. The percentage of women with university studies is also higher: they represent 47.8% compared to 44.9% of men. And without university studies, there are fewer women (9.4%) than men (12.8%).

Main causes

02The authors of the study, Indry Canchila, who is a managing partner at ICSA Grupo, and Dr. Aline Masuda, Professor at EADA, reflect on the different reasons that have caused this new setback. One of the main ones is that after the pandemic it has returned to face-to-face. According to Canchila, “the opportunity for digitization, teleworking and conciliation offered by the pandemic has not been taken advantage of and companies are establishing the pre-Covid face-to-face model and work by hours, not by objectives.” In her opinion, "we have returned to jobs that are not very adaptable, not very flexible, that do not favor the personal and professional reconciliation of women." In this sense, Dr. Masuda tells about "redesigning jobs, prioritizing management by objectives and teamwork". As a consequence of this, both authors of the study agree that "many women who accessed a managerial position during the pandemic have been forced to leave it or migrate to an intermediate position, due to difficulties in reconciling".

A second reason is that managerial positions continue to be "very masculinized" and it is a trend that has not been broken and that may continue to increase in the coming years if flexible models are not implemented that facilitate the conciliation of women. For Aline Masuda, "the solution would go through a change in legislation that promotes conciliation, a cultural change in the business world, more opportunities to develop your career in the company and equal pay with men." As she points out, "today, the majority of women continue to assume household burdens and have less purchasing power, less savings capacity, to face any adverse economic situation as well as consider their retirement with guarantees".

The EADA professor also refers to the financial crisis that companies have suffered due to Covid: “This situation has caused all professionals to work longer hours, which has harmed women above all, precisely because of the responsibilities households that continue to assume”. For this reason, Masuda insists on "educating the next generations of women to reverse this trend and achieve an equitable distribution of domestic responsibilities".