Gender pay gap ‘eliminated’ for most travel industry roles

The gender pay gap in the travel industry has been eliminated for most roles – but “stark” differences remain at the top levels, new figures show.

Research from C&M Travel Recruitment found that the gender pay gap overall marginally narrowed in 2023, with the typical female working in travel taking home 11.2% less than their male equivalent last year, compared to a gap of 11.5% in 2022.

That compares to 6.5% in 2021 and 14.2% in 2019.

This resulted in a gender pay gap of £3,678 in 2023, with women earning an average of £32,989 while men received £36,667.

However, the recruiter said the overall gap can “almost solely be attributed to the stark difference” in pay for those in the highest salaried jobs.

The pay gap for executive roles – those paying £40,000 and above – widened considerably from 14.2% in 2022 to 38.5% in 2023, with most positions attracting the highest salaries being awarded to men.


MoreC&M gender pay report reveals ‘stark’ difference at executive level


Below this, salary gaps were much less significant, with the average female working in a senior role – those paying between £30,000 and £39,999 – taking home £288, or 0.86% less than males.

For those in mid-level positions – paying between £22,001 and £29,999 – women earned £163, or 0.62% more than men.

With entry-level roles paying up to £22,000, men earned 0.27%, or £57, more than comparable women.

Overall, females continued to be awarded most new jobs in the travel industry with a total of 68.3% – slightly down from 70.7% in 2022.

For entry-level roles, females took 60%, and for mid-level positions, they were awarded 70.7% of all jobs.

With senior travel jobs, females took 67.6% of all roles in 2023, while they took 67.1% of all executive roles in 2023 – up from 55% in 2022.

However, C&M noted a “very different” result with the highest-salaried roles, with men being awarded 57.9% of all £60,000+ positions and 62.5% of all roles with salaries of £75,000 and above.

Barbara Kolosinska, managing director at C&M Travel Recruitment, said: “These stats always make for interesting reading, and this year they’ve highlighted two very contrasting points.

“The positive news is that for the majority of positions in the travel industry, the gender pay gap has been eliminated – which is something to be celebrated.

“For those seeking an entry-level, mid-level or senior role in the travel industry, candidates can expect to receive the same salary as their counterparts, regardless of their gender.

“However, that is not the case when we look at the top of the industry.

“It’s encouraging to see that more women are being placed in £40,000+ roles than just a few years ago, but men are still routinely earning more than females in these positions.

“And things get even more pronounced when we look at the highest salaried jobs in travel, with men being awarded the majority of these roles and earning far more than their equivalents.

“The travel industry has come a long way in recent years in terms of pay disparity, but these stats should be a stark reminder that much more needs to be done to target, support and promote women into some of the most senior roles in our sector.”

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