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Gender pay gap between female and male non-manager pharmacists hits £4K

Male non-manager pharmacists earned over £4,000 more than their female colleagues on average in 2023, data from the C+D Salary Survey has revealed.

Please note:

C+D’s calculations on the average salaries of those identifying as male or female – and working as either community pharmacist branch managers or non-manager pharmacists – only took into consideration those working between 35-45 hours per week.

C+D's exclusive analysis focuses on equal pay – the legal requirement that men and women in the same employment, performing equal work, must receive the same wages.

Full-time equivalent (FTE) male second or non-manager pharmacists took home an average of £4,277.80 more than their female counterparts last year, according to C+D analysis.

While the 27 male respondents in this role earned an average of £52,777.30 in 2023, the 30 female respondents reported an average salary of £48,499.50.

The gender pay gap has not been this high since 2021, when data from C+D’s annual Salary Survey showed that male branch managers earned an average of £4,000 more than their female colleagues and the pay gap among non-manager pharmacists stood at more than £6,000.

Read more: Gender pay gap: Male branch managers earn £3.5k more than female equivalents

Last year, C+D revealed that male branch managers earned an average of £3,500 more than their female colleagues in 2022, while the pay gap among non-managers was almost £4,500.

The average salary for all second or non-manager community pharmacists in 2023 - including those not in FTE roles - showed the largest increase since the Salary Survey began in 2014 and stood at £41,666.17, C+D reported last week.

Read more: Average salary of non-manager pharmacists sees dramatic uplift

Meanwhile, the 67 FTE male branch managers who completed the survey reported an average salary of £55,820.42 in 2023.

They out-earned their female counterparts by £1,484.16, with 49 female respondents reporting an average salary of £54,336.26 in the same period.

Last month, Salary Survey data revealed that the average salary for all branch managers across the UK stood at £52,175.21 in 2023 - up by about £1,500 from the previous year.


Pay dissatisfaction


Despite these pay gaps, it was FTE male second or non-manager pharmacists who were the most dissatisfied with their income.

More than half (52%) of 27 male respondents reported being dissatisfied with their pay, compared to 34% of 29 FTE female second or non-manager pharmacists who reported the same.

Among FTE branch managers, 42% of 67 male respondents were dissatisfied with their pay compared to 35% of 49 female respondents.

Read more: What was the average UK pharmacist branch manager salary in 2023?

Male pharmacists in FTE roles were also more likely to have received a bonus in 2023 than their female counterparts.

While 59% of 64 male branch manager respondents to the question said they had managed to secure a bonus in 2023, 56% of 48 female respondents were given a bonus.

And 63% of 27 male second or non-manager pharmacists received a bonus, while 52% of 29 female pharmacists in the same role secured one.




Shilpa Shah, chief executive of Community Pharmacy North East London (CP NEL), told C+D that it is “disappointing” that the gender pay gap is still a problem in 2024, adding that this “should be a thing of the past”.

“If two people are doing the same job they should be paid the same,” she said. “Employers have a responsibility to review all pay and ensure that where the role is the same, regardless of gender or any other reason, they get paid the same.”

Read more: ‘Soul destroying’: C+D survey reveals contractors in crisis mode

Ms Shah added that she was “not sure” why this was not the case, with possible reasons including men negotiating their salaries better, pay not being reviewed appropriately following maternity leave and an “unconscious bias” in favour of men.

“While I appreciate that conditions and funding for pharmacy is at an all-time low, we also know that workforce retention is challenging,” she said. “By doing what’s right and not what’s easy, employers will find that people want to work for them and will be loyal.”

Ms Shah also explained that it is “likely” that women will feel “undervalued” and start looking for a new job, pointing out that the cost of “recruiting and training” a new person would be “more expensive” than eliminating the pay gap.

Read more: Revealed: The average locum pharmacist pay rate in 2023

“I hope that one day we don’t have to talk about this issue anymore because people will be paid fairly and I hope that day comes soon,” Ms Shah told C+D.

Last April, Boots UK’s latest gender pay gap report revealed that it had eliminated the median hourly gender pay gap for pharmacists and pharmacy staff, but other multiples were yet to follow suit.

The C+D Salary Survey 2023 ran between October 27 2023 and January 8 2024 and was completed by a total of 1,261 pharmacists and pharmacy staff.

See all the coverage so far on the C+D Salary Survey hub.

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