Pay disparity between male & female HR Leaders

Salary and remuneration gender disparity for HR Leaders - results from a recent analysis by Acolyte Group


  • Females outnumber males in HR leadership roles (60:40)
  • A 19% (£17k) gender pay gap has been identified with males earning an average of £105k per annum and females earning £88k
  • Both genders expect salary increases as they move into their next roles, however, on average males expect 18% more than females
  • The highest rewards are available for HR Leadership roles in London & the South East and in
    Financial Services, Consulting, Insurance and Technology

A of over 600 HR leaders were approached as part of this salary benchmarking
survey. The research shows a strong female representation in the population (60%).
There is, however, a 19% disparity shown between the rewards earned by females (average
£88k per annum) and those earned by their male counterparts (£105k per annum).

An awareness of gender pay disparity is important and is now firmly on the agenda of most
organisations. While this report does not attempt to understand ‘why’ such differences occur, it
is interesting to note that when asked what salary increase would be expected by the population
as they moved into their next role, on average males expect 18% more of an increase than

HR Leadership roles in London and the South East are significantly higher than elsewhere in the country with HR Directors typically earning basic salaries of c.£128k (London) and c.£108k
(South East). This is significantly more than lower-paying regions such as Northern Ireland (£68k) and Wales (£70k).

HR Leaders in Financial Services, Consulting, Insurance, and Information Technology are the
highest earners from the population sampled with salaries in these sectors typically ranges from
over £100k to £200k +. This contrasts with HR Directors at Non-profit organisations who can
earn less than £50k.

As would be expected, there is a clear correlation between pay and both the size of the
organisation and the seniority of the leadership position.

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