Women in creative industries paid £10k less than men – Major Players salary survey

New salary survey reveals wide pay gaps between different groups of employees.

Major Players: survey found men in the ad industry earned significantly more than women
Major Players: survey found men in the ad industry earned significantly more than women

Women, workers from a BAME background and the LGBT community earn less than their white male counterparts, a survey from Major Players has found. 

The recruitment company runs an annual survey around careers, salaries and workplace trends. 

Its latest survey of 2,455 respondents, which launches today, has found large salary gaps among different groups of employees.

On average, women earn £10,405 less than men in permanent roles and £44 less in freelance day rates. Men are three times more likely to earn more than £100,000 than women.

Black women earn the lowest average salary at £38,000 compared with white men who earn the most at £58,000, the survey found (14% of respondents identified as Asian, black, mixed, Arab or other). 

Women have been disproportionately affected by Covid. Major Players' 2020 pulse survey found that 45% of women have seen a decrease in their income as a result of the pandemic, compared with just a quarter of men. Working mothers are 47% more likely to have permanently lost their jobs or to have quit compared with working fathers (Institute of Fiscal Studies).

The Major Players survey also found that those within the LGBT+ community are likely to be paid up to 7% less than their heterosexual colleagues. 

Meanwhile less than one in 10 within the creative industries is aged 45 and over.

To help create a more level playing field, Major Players is launching a tool on its website where people can compare their salary against other people with the same job title, giving them ammunition to push back on their pay. 

Major Players managing director Joanne Lucy said: “I firmly believe we are now at a crossroads. We all have an opportunity to be a conduit for positive change and rebuild society to be more inclusive for all. More is needed to be done, though, to close the gap, and to reach people from minority backgrounds to ensure these groups are represented in the job marketplace going forward.”

As part of her company’s DE&I pledge, she added: “We are committed to our Earn Your Worth initiative where, by 2022, we aim to present a petition to the government to ensure all salary information is removed from the hiring process, allowing candidates to earn their true worth.”

The survey also found that the Covid-19 pandemic has also changed what workers want from a career. Working remotely is now a must-have for many employees in their future roles.

Almost three-quarters of respondents state that a good work/life balance was the most important factor in their current or next job, while 80% said flexible hours were the most important benefit a company could offer. More than 55% of those in permanent employment were working 41 hours or more a week. 

The challenge for employers will be investing in digital infrastructure that continues to allow a new hybrid working model, where time can be split between the office and home. This new way of working also paves the way for enabling a global remote workforce, with location no longer limiting hiring decisions.

The survey found that businesses had accelerated the digitisation of their customer and supply chain interactions by three to five years, while ecommerce has grown by 46% in 2020. This has led to more businesses developing their inhouse digital teams, prioritising ecommerce, digital marketing, social and content roles. 

The survey was compiled by Major Players using data collected from 2,455 respondents and combined with industry insights gathered from senior talent partners.

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