FTSE chiefs pay reveal highlights stark gender imbalance

The five female FTSE 100 chiefs earn just over half the average amount earned by their 95 male counterparts.

Sir Martin Sorrell of WPP, the best paid FTSE chief, earns three times as much as the female executives combined. Credit: Reuters
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A study revealing how much the chief executives of Britain’s biggest listed companies were paid in 2016 has highlighted a stark pay gap between male and female CEOs.

Research published by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and think-tank the High Pay Centre showed that the five female FTSE 100 chiefs earned an average of £2.5 million in 2016, which is just over half the average amount earned by the other 95 male chiefs.

The analysis also showed that the best-paid FTSE executive, Sir Martin Sorrell, received three times as much as all five female chiefs combined.

This is in spite of the fact that Sir Martin of WPP had his salary cut by one third to £48m last year, along with Bob Dudley of BP, after complaints from investors.

Across the board, the study showed that executives had seen their pay fall by an average of £1m last year.

The average pay of a FTSE chief fell 17 per cent to £5.4m following pressure from both investors and politicians.

The results come after British prime minister Theresa May warned of an “irrational, unhealthy and growing gap” between the pay of those at the top and their workers. The government is currently preparing to publish its proposed responsible business reforms next month.

Median pay for a FTSE chief stands at around £3.4m, while the average full-time median wage for a British worker is around £28,000.