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Mind the gap

Is there an earnings gap at the top of the PR trade?

Sure is, says headhunter Watson Helsby, which has been totting up corporate comms pay since 2013. You can read the full report here.

The annual survey shows that female corporate communications directors get paid 7.5% less than the men across the FTSE 100.

Moreover, that disparity grows when you factor in the size of the company, since men are far more likely to get the job at the largest businesses.

CEO Nick Helsby says: “When you factor in bonus and LTIP this differential only increases. Of course the responsibilities of a corporate affairs leader in a company like BP, HSBC or Vodafone, are much bigger, so some gap is to be expected. Those companies are more likely to hire/search globally too, so have to pay global rates. But it’s still quite a gap.”

This table tells the tale.

All Male Female

FTSE 20 £391K £397K £376K

FTSE 21-50 £295K £253K £235K

FTSE 51-100 £210K £215K £207K

The range is interesting too. The lowest paid corp coms director in the FTSE 100 gets £105k. While the best paid gets over £600k. (I don’t know the names, but do speculate.)

One curiosity the research throws up is that women outnumber men in the bottom half of the FTSE 100, but not the top half.

Perhaps that just reflects wider male dominance at the top of the corporate world. Which in turn means firms looking for experienced women, find that there aren’t enough to go around.

Helsby says: “There is one FTSE 20, that hired a new corporate affairs director not so long ago, that was unequivocal in its brief to the headhunter concerned that they wanted to appoint a female. But, after many months (it was not lip service, they tried hard) they hired a male.”

Some work to be done then.


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