The differences between working patterns of men and women

Morgan McKinley 15.11.2019

The gender pay gap has been a key focus for many organisations in recent years, with calls for equal pay widespread across many industries. Regardless of remuneration, are there any distinct differences between working patterns of male and female office professionals in the UK?

Working patterns of male and female UK office professionals

Our comprehensive Working Hours and Flexibility survey had more than 1,500 UK based respondents spanning financial services, professional services and commerce & industry, working in a variety of roles across different areas of expertise. Amongst other things, we asked them to outline their typical daily working patterns, including their access to flexible working and whether they regularly work beyond their contracted hours - some of the findings, outlined in the infographic below, make for interesting viewing...

Comparison of male and female working patterns

Analysis of these findings

We know that the overwhelming majority (91%) of white collar office professionals work longer than their contracted hours, but from these findings, it looks like more of the male proportion of our respondents work significantly longer than their contracts state than their female counterparts - 23% of men work 10+ extra hours each week, whilst the figure for women was 12%

A large proportion of both genders make use of the opportunity to work flexibly, revealing how it is valuable and an important attraction tool. The most startling information revealed here is that almost three times the amount of women compared to men claim to be earning less after electing to work flexibly. Organisations claim to be 'closing the gender pay gap', but this is stark evidence that it may not necessarily be the case across their entire workforce. Somewhat ironically, 81% of women view workplace flexibility in a constructive light and believe it positively impacts company performance and profitability - but is this just a skewed perception because they like being able to work to their own arrangements rather than actually considering the long-term results for both business and employee?


The majority of our 1,500 respondents work across Banking & Financial Services, Professional Services or Commerce & Industry. 48% were male, 51% female. Just under three quarters were permanently employed (74%), 21% were temporarily employed and the remainder were either self-employed or unemployed. 63% of respondents work in London, 37% outside London. The highest proportion of respondents were at mid-management level (39%), followed by operational/executive (25%) and senior management (18%) - the remainder consisted of entry level, C-Suite and those who didn’t want to disclose their seniority.

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