Press Release: CMI's pay gap findings fatally flawed by not controlling for working hours

For further comments or to arrange an interview, contact Head of Communications Kate Andrews: kate@adamsmith.org | 07584 778207. Commenting on the Chartered Management Institute's findings on the gender pay gap, Head of Research at the Adam Smith Institute Ben Southwood said:

The Chartered Management Institute's report makes a fatal error, completely undermining their findings that women work nearly 2 hours a day ‘for free’—they do not control for hours worked. Evidence we have suggests that women work fewer hours than men - they are not ‘working for free’.

Their survey of middle managers finds a pay gap of about £8,500, or 23% in average annual pay, but they have not released any information on average hours. As such, we are forced to assume they don't have such data, an assumption supported by the fact that they rely on the average working week statistic from the ONS when they compute their dubious estimate of the time women allegedly spend working for free.

If they do not have any data on working weeks, then there is no reason to assume there is any hourly wage gap at all. A more reasonable assumption is that men are simply working for longer—since this is what other data has consistently told us.

A sophisticated discussion of the gender wage gap would include reference to data showing gender pay gaps are wider in more gender egalitarian countries, that women who never leave the work force are more likely to make CEO and earn more on average and that women aged 22-29 and 30-39 earn slightly more per hour than men at the median.

Notes to Editors:

For further comments or to arrange an interview, contact Kate Andrews, Head of Communications, at kate@adamsmith.org | 07584 778207.

The Adam Smith Institute is a free market, libertarian think tank based in London. It advocates classically liberal public policies to create a richer, freer world.