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Agency sector struggling to close gender pay gap

The gender pay gap in estate agency has grown, new research suggests.

Analysis of industry data from the Office for National Statistics based on people working in real estate found a 47.4% gap in pay between men and women.

The analysis, by hybrid agency brand Nested said this was driven by a far higher rate of annual pay growth for men versus their female counterparts. 


Across all UK employees, in all industries and sectors, the gender pay gap is currently 32.5% in favour of men.

This is the narrowest pay gap in a decade, having become consistently smaller every year since 2013 when it stood at 39.4%.

In estate agency, however, the latest available data shows that the average pay for men is currently £54,245 per year, while women earn an average of £28,522 - a gender pay gap of 47.4%.

Unlike the topline UK trend where this gap has been narrowing, estate agency has struggled to consistently come closer to equal pay over the last decade, Nested warned.

Instead, it has followed a pattern of widening and then narrowing again year-upon-year, with the gap being at its widest in 2016 when it reached 58.9%

The pay gap was the narrowest it has been in the past decade during 2021 at 43.2% but this was reversed in 2022.

The main driving force behind this most recent expansion of the gender pay gap is the fact that, in the last year, men have seen a pay increase of 16.1% versus just 7.5% for women, according to the research.

Alice Bullard, managing director at Nested, said: “The difference in pay between men and women continues to be unfairly skewed towards men across all industries. But at least the overall national figures show things are moving, albeit slowly, in the right direction. 

“This makes it doubly infuriating to see that within estate agency, the gap is not only significantly wider than the national benchmark, but it has also widened further in the last year.”

Bullard suggested the gap is also being driven by top female talent leaving estate agency because of the inflexibility our industry offers.

She added: “Many employers simply don’t offer the flexibility needed for those returning from maternity leave, for example, which is preventing many women from securing senior roles as they are unable to commit to the archaic 8am-6pm working hours the industry seems so obsessed with. 

“Once they hit this ceiling, they are left with little other choice but to sacrifice their hard earned careers and this is perhaps a far greater issue than the pay gap itself.”


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