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C+D Salary Survey: Gender pay gap doubles in a year

Deborah Evans: Women need support to close the pay gap

The gap between full-time male and female branch manager pay has reached £4,418

The pay gap between male and female pharmacists has more than doubled, results from the C+D Salary Survey 2016 suggest.

Male branch managers who worked between 35 and 40 hours a week earned £4,418 more than female branch managers who worked the same hours, according to results from 125 managers who responded to the survey, which ran between October 16 and December 21, 2015.

This is more than double the £2,011 gender pay difference calculated for pharmacists working any hours in the 2015 Salary Survey.

The latest survey also highlighted a £2,732 pay gap between male and female second or non-manager pharmacists, according to the 78 respondents to the question.

Complex reasons

Deborah Evans, a member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society's (RPS) English Pharmacy Board, said she was disappointed to see the pay gap between men and women within pharmacy.

She told C+D that she was “very concerned” that the Salary Survey had uncovered "such a significant difference".

Ms Evans stressed that although the reasons behind the gender pay gap were likely to be complex, she said it is important to understand why it might exist in a female-dominated profession, where women account for more than half of the workforce.

“Pay gaps can arise from direct discrimination, [from] women’s contribution not being valued as much as men’s, and women perhaps being more likely to compromise on benefits to achieve a work-home balance,” Ms Evans said.

“It may also be that women are less likely to assert themselves to achieve a higher salary,” she added.

“Whatever the cause, women need support to close this gap. There must be equality in pay and other benefits.”

The Salary Survey results also found other differences between the genders. Some 49% of female branch managers were given a payrise in the last 12 months, in comparison to 43% of males. 


How could pharmacy achieve greater gender equality?

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How could pharmacy achieve greater gender equality?

Gerry Diamond, Primary care pharmacist

The sad fact is, even as the country gets its second female primeminister that women are paid lower than men, that is completely unacceptable and more needs to be done to address all equality and diversity with the profession and broader society.

Cathy Cooke, Hospital pharmacist


At least part of the problem may relate to the way salaries are set.  From my recent observations and discussions with community pharmacists, salaries are negotiated with individuals rather than being overtly available to all as a scale relating to role and size of pharmacy etc.  During my 25yrs practising as a community pharmacist with a large multiple, there was a clear scale and individuals knew what salary they would get for a particular role.  This also prevented any discrimination by sex.


Shaun Steren, Pharmaceutical Adviser

This data set is incredibly small and self-reported, so I wouldn't place any weight on it. There are variations in wages within one town for the same company. Many pharmacists have very detailed knowledge of individual branches and will look for a wage that takes these factors into account. There is currently a branch in the area that I work (for the same company) which nobody will touch. On paper (items etc) it is nothing excessive but if you had worked there you wouldn't return. Let's say a male pharmacist takes that branch on and gets an extra 4K above typical (after knowing of and understanding the reputation of the branch and the difficulties in recruitment) and then you compare this to a near indentical (on paper) branch down the road where a female manager is getting 4K less, it will look unequal. In my experience there is a loose pay scale according to some branch metrics, but then there is +/- 3k to 5k according to specific branch factors (problems)

Farm Assistant, Community pharmacist

The sad fact is that women will put up with more crap than men and this has only become worse as the profession has become feminised. Also most male pharmacists are like old women.

Shaun Steren, Pharmaceutical Adviser

Community pharmacists are generally weak regardless of gender. Of course an all female dispensary and an all male dispensary would have massively different dynamics. The job of pharmacist is now much less popular with men, but I have never understood why more men have not applied to be dispensers. 

P M, Community pharmacist

this is terrible , wages for men should be dropped at once to match those of women...

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