Ambition could be behind the widening salary gap between male and female graduates entering into consultancy, as men aim for top tier institutions from the very start of their careers.
More men securing their first positions at top level firms, such as Bain or McKinsey, and therefore beginning their careers on higher salaries, can largely explain the 20% salary gap between men and women, research from salary benchmarking site, Emolument.com, has shown.
At consultant level, Emolument.com found men's median base salary from 2013 to 2015 to be £40,000 (€51,000) while women's was only £32,000, with women receiving no bonuses compared to an extra £1,500 for men.
However, while female base pay may be lower, the research also reveals that performance related pay is 35% higher for women at senior manager level.
Although the proportion of women in top tier institutions remains low across senior roles, and a base salary gap of 15% still exists at this level, the survey showed women's bonuses exceeding men's at £13,500, compared to £10,000.
Thomas Drewry, chief executive officer at Emolument.com, says: "It is significant that from the outset of their career, women do not aim for the top firms, unlike their male counterparts. If they did so more consistently, it would be very interesting to see just how much more they can earn when they reach senior manager levels."
Emolument.com examined bonus data from 219 male and 69 female consultants, senior consultants and senior managers working for management or strategic consulting firms in London.
A survey by Astbury Marsden also found that amongst regulatory and fund services personnel in the City of London, women's basic salary is just 84% of their male colleague's salary, with men also seeing their pay rise more quickly.
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