Gender Pay Gap in Real Estate, Facilities Management & Built Environment

Baskar Sundaram
Baskar Sundaram

The 2019 RICS and Macdonald & Company Rewards and Attitudes Survey suggests
that good headway has been made, though more effort is required. The gender pay
gap between median salaries across the industry is now 18.6%, according to the
results of 3,461 respondents to the survey vs last year’s survey which was
significantly higher.
In many areas the gender pay gap is below the national average published in April
2018, and in investment/corporate banking, women now earn approximately 13%
more than their male counterparts. Other areas in which the pay gap is markedly
less than the national average include:
Architectural/design practice –10.86%
Education – 6.66%
Occupier/end user – 7.80%
Investor/funds – 14.33%
Residential/block management – 14.29%
Central/local government – 12.50%
In London, female respondents to the survey working in construction in London are
paid an average base salary of £43,000, whereas their male counterparts are paid
less at £37,500. As the age of respondents increases, the disparity reverses in
favour of men:
At age range 36 to 45, men and women both receive an average an average
base salary of £70,000
In the age range of 46 to 55, men are paid an average base salary of
£83,000, while women receive just £64,000 salary on average
A similar pattern emerges when examining the data at the industry wide level. The
older the age group, the wider the pay disparity between men and women.

The survey found that in the 18 to 22 age group, males are now paid an annual
average salary of £22,000, 3.53% more than females in this age group. The gender
pay gap widens progressively at almost every age group (6.56% at ages 23 to 26;
14.29% at ages 27 to 30; through to 23% at ages 46 to 55), until dropping back to
14.25% at ages 56 to 65, and then rising again to 15.63% at age 65+.
These statistics indicate the pay gap is closing as awareness of the issue improves
and the number of females in the industry increases. More women are now entering
the industry at earlier ages, and the pay gap is markedly less the younger the age
While it might be expected that this pattern would follow through to the 56 to 65 age
group and then beyond, the sharp narrowing at this age could be explained by
greater numbers of more senior males leaving the industry and taking retirement
benefits after they have attained the age of 55 and above.
On the whole, the work that many employers have been doing to close the gender pay gap,
along with the enthusiasm of RICS in promoting a more open and diverse environment, is
paying dividends. Policies such as flexible working and working from home are key
strategies to encourage women into the sector, and so, too, is better training and education.
This is a battle not only for the industry, but also for government to fight


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