edie Live survey reveals extent of gender pay gap in sustainability

The average annual salary of men working as energy, sustainability and resource efficiency professionals is £11,500 higher than women, edie Live's Sustainability Salary Snapshot survey has revealed.

Ahead of this month’s edie Live exhibition, 429 professionals from within the sustainability sector were surveyed on the specifics of their job role and associated salary and benefits packages. (Scroll down for infographic).

The Snapshot found that, on average, men working in sustainability are earning £51,000 annually, compared with just £39,500 earned by women. This difference of £11,500 is more than double the average gender pay gap of £5,732 for the whole of the UK, according to recent figures.

The edie Live survey’s respondents – the majority of which were aged between 36-55 – also confirmed that region, job role, seniority and industry type were all contributing factors to the varied amounts of pay in the profession.

As expected, London is the highest paying area for sustainability professionals, with an average salary of £60,500 – almost £25,000 higher than the UK’s lowest paying region of Yorkshire and the Humber, where workers also get the lowest bonus percentage at 3.3% and are least likely to have life assurance through their employer.

Career ladder

In terms of job role, graduates and trainees are likely to enter employment earning around £25,000, with those nearer the top of the ladder – at senior management level – paid £64,000 on average. Middle management and team leaders’ pay is directly in the middle of these two salaries at £42,000.

The chosen sector of sustainability professionals is also a big factor in the levels of pay they can expect. The utilities sector tops the salary rankings with average annual earnings of £51,500. This sector also pays the highest annual bonuses of 15.1% – which was given to 83% of those surveyed in this sector. But the utilities sector also has the biggest disparity between men and women, with an average salary gap of nearly £24,000.

The lowest paying sector is central and local government, which offers an average salary of £35,700. Meanwhile, those working in the manufacturing and construction sectors are averaging salaries of £48,500, and those in the education sector are earning £45,000 – but only 20% are receiving annual bonuses, and even then they only total an average of 0.5% of annual pay.

When it comes to benefits packages, 89% of the survey’s respondents revealed that they receive an employer contribution pension, while just 29% have life assurance through their employer. Less than half of those surveyed (45%) have an annual bonus as part of their package, while more than a third (36%) receive a car allowance.

edie Live 2016 – your free pass

Whether you are a sustainability graduate or trainee, middle management or senior executive, edie Live 2016 has it covered, with the exhibition offering a two-day programme of free content, networking, insight and support.

Running from 17-18 May, edie Live will explore how sustainability professionals can embed sustainability and CSR issues into their organisation’s core operations with show topics ranging from green policy to resource efficiency and onsite solutions.

Find out more about edie Live 2016 and register to attend for free here.

Matt Mace

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