This Is The Age At Which Women Reach “Peak Earnings”

Nick Levine
·2-min read

Women in the UK hit “peak earnings” four years earlier than men, according to new research.

Whereas on average, women can expect to command their highest salary at age 40, men do so at age 44.

Women’s average salaries are higher then men’s at age 21, but from this point on men’s average earnings outstrip women’s. On average, men’s “peak earnings” will be £8,000 higher than women’s, the research by Totaljobs found.

This is no surprise given that women’s career prospects are more likely to be adversely affected by childcare costs and an inability to access the flexible arrangements that can help working parents to thrive.

“An individual’s ‘peak’ is heavily influenced by a combination of factors, such as gender, region, age, education, and experience,” said Jon Wilson of Totaljobs.

“Finding the balance between achieving the right salary at the right time for personal priorities can be a real challenge, and workers are often navigating salary negotiation without really knowing what is fair and what they are worth.”

The research also found that women’s pay rises are, on average, nearly £500 lower than those awarded to men.

Since 2017, companies with 250 employees or more have been legally required to report their gender pay gap – the difference in earnings between their male and female staff members. Across the UK as a whole, the gender pay gap is slowly closing, but still stands at a totally unacceptable 15.5%.

To help even the playing field, Totaljobs’ Jon Wilson called for “more transparency” in the workplace when it comes to discussing salary expectations, annual bonuses and future earning potential.

“This is particularly important for women, who, as our data shows, are experiencing sizeable pay gaps and peak earnings faring far below that of men,” Wilson added.

“The only way out of this longstanding issue is for businesses to truly commit to measures such as equal pay audits, transparency on pay and bonuses, and the removal of any biases that can impact an individual’s chances of a successful career path and higher wages.”

You can get an idea of what your “peak earnings” might be by trying out Totaljobs’ Peak Earnings Predictor.

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