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Gender pay gap narrows for travel jobs in 2021

The average woman in the travel industry still earns less than her male counterparts, according to new research from C&M Travel Recruitment and C&M Executive Recruitment.

However, for the first time since the index began in 2014, travel’s gender pay gap has reduced to a single-digit difference.

The average male working in travel earned 6.5% (or £1,805) more than a female in 2021, compared to a gap of 14.2% in 2019, 18.4% in 2018 and 12.8% in 2017, said C&M.

For the first time in the index’s history, women in executive travel jobs – those paying £40,000 and above – out-earned men, with the typical female receiving 7.7% (or £3,919) more than their male equivalents, with a salary of £52,703.

For senior travel jobs – those paying between £30,000 and £39,999 – men earned 0.8% more than the average woman with £32,650, or a difference of £268.


MoreC&M travel job placements reach record levels


Men also out-earned women in mid-level positions – between £22,000 and £29,999 – with an average of £25,542 and a difference of 2.1% or £518.

However, the situation was reversed for junior roles – below £22,000 – with women out-earning men by 2.8%, taking home an average wage of £20,178 (or a gap of £556).

Women continued to be awarded most of the new positions in travel, with females accounting for 76.6% of all new junior roles and 73.4% of all mid-level positions.

Furthermore, women took 74.4% of all new senior jobs in travel last year and 61% of all executive roles.

Barbara Kolosinska, managing director at C&M Travel Recruitment and C&M Executive Recruitment, said: “Any difference in salaries between men and women is too much, but it is still very pleasing to see the gender pay gap in the travel industry fall from 14.2% before the pandemic to 6.5% in 2021.

“There is still a long way to go to reach parity, but this report makes for encouraging reading.

“What’s particularly promising is that for the first time since we began these surveys in 2014, men are no longer significantly out-earning women in higher-salaried executive travel roles.

“In fact, the situation was reversed last year, with female travel executives taking home an average of 7.7% more than their male equivalents.

“Whether this is a blip caused by the pandemic or an indication of a more long-term trend is unknown at this point, but travel’s gender pay gap appears to be reducing.”

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