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Gender pay gap ‘could take 98 years to close’

The gender pay gap between men and women could take nearly 100 years to close, according to recent estimations.

New research by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) suggests that women will have to wait 98 years until they are paid the same salary as their male equivalents.

Although salaries for female executives are increasing at a faster rate than those for men, the study found that male executives are still paid substantially more than their female counterparts.

The latest figures show that male executives earn an average of £42,441 compared with £31,895 for women.

Despite women's salaries growing by 2.4% and men's 2.1%, the gender pay gap increased from £10,031 to £10,546 in the 12 months to February 2011.

However, the CMI reported that for the first time the salaries of junior female managers have surpassed those for junior male managers. It said that junior female managers now earn £21,969 on average, compared with men at £21,367.

The CMI's director of policy and research, Petra Wilton, said: ‘While CMI is delighted that junior female executives have caught up with males at the same level, this year's salary survey demonstrates, yet again, that businesses are contributing to the persistent gender pay gap by alienating top female employees by continuing to pay men and women unequally.

‘This kind of bad management is damaging UK businesses and must be addressed.’