Pharmacy gender pay gap widens

0016562 - two pharmacists standing in pharmacy or drugstore in front of shelves with pharmaceuticals

The pay gap between male and female pharmacists in the UK has more than doubled in only a year, Chemist + Druggist reports.

The results of its C+D Salary Survey 2016 show that male branch managers working between 35 and 40 hours a week earned £4,418 more than female branch managers working the same hours.

Last year the gender pay difference calculated from C+D survey results came in at £2,011.

The 2016 results also show a £2,732 pay gap between male and female second or non-manager pharmacists.

The sample size of branch managers responding to the survey was 125, and second or non-manager pharmacists was 78.

The results were disappointing, Deborah Evans, a member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s English Pharmacy Board, told the magazine.

The reasons behind the pay gap are likely to be complex, she said.

“Pay gaps can arise from direct discrimination, [from] women’s contribution not being valued as much as men’s, and women perhaps being more likely to compromise on benefits to achieve a work-home balance,” Evans said.

“It may also be that women are less likely to assert themselves to achieve a higher salary.”

In Australia, the pay gap is also significant: recently combined statistics from the ATO and the ABS showed that male pharmacists earn an average annual salary of $85,362, while the average income for female pharmacists is $63,503.

“As an occupation the pharmacy profession has a modestly higher gender wage gap than most other jobs,” Ben Phillips, a principal research fellow at the Australian National University’s Centre for Social Research and Methods, told the AJP at the time.

According to March 2016 Pharmacy Board data, 61.35% of Australian pharmacists are female.

The gender pay gap is not only a problem for pharmacists. In UK GP publication Pulse Today, Dr Heather Ryan writes that general practice may have a gender problem.

“Looking at the wider employment market, rather than just the medical profession, it is recognised that female-dominated jobs typically attract lower pay, status and respect than male-dominated ones,” she writes.

“Indeed, research has shown that, when an occupation becomes female-dominated, average wages drop. One profession that has become female-dominated in recent years is general practice.”

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