Gov't Data Reveals Industries With the Largest Gender Pay Gap

Women still get lower pay in most sectors compared to men. Of the twenty sectors analyzed, women receive higher pay than men in just three industries.


Different studies and reports still show women continue to face barriers to progression in the workforce. This in combination with ongoing disparities in male and female pay, it is likely that women will seek out industries that treat them more fairly.

With this in mind, digital PR consultants Reboot sought to determine the industries that women are paid the least and most, compared to men. They did so by calculating gender pay gap differences based on the average gross hourly pay of men and women, using the latest data from the UK government Labour Force Survey (LFS)


Key study findings: 

  • Out of the twenty sectors analyzed, there are just three industries whereby women receive higher pay than men. These are activities of households as employers of domestic personnel, construction, mining and quarrying. 
  • In 80% of industries, men are paid more than women - the highest of this being the real estate industry whereby men are paid 31.12% more than women.
  • A quarter of industries pay men over 20% more than women. 
  • There were zero industries whereby men and women are paid equally, however the sector that had the closest to equal pay with a 0.98% pay difference is ‘Activities of extraterritorial organisations and bodies’. This includes activities of international organisations, such as the IMF, the World Bank, the UN. 


Industries Where Women Are Paid the Least Compared to Men 



For a quarter of the industries analyzed, men get paid at least 20% more than women. These are real estate activitiesITEducationfinancial and insurance activities. 

The industry that has the biggest gender pay gap is ‘real estate activities’, whereby women receive a whopping 31.12% less than men. This sector is described as Activities of real estate investment trusts which includes buying, selling, and renting own real estate. 

There are great gender disparities within the IT industry since women represent just 30.31% of the workforce and there is a severe imbalance on male and female pay - with women getting paid 26.07% less than men. 

The education sector, whereby women represent 69.71% of the workforce, has a shocking 25.82% gender pay difference.

The financial sector has a much more equal balance of female to male representation, with women representing 44.04% of the workforce, yet women are still paid a whopping 22.81% less than men. 

Industry that pay women the least

Pay gap (%)

Real estate activities


Information and communication




Financial and insurance activities


Accommodation and food service activities


Public administration and defence; compulsory social security


Administrative and support service activities


Professional, scientific and technical activities


Agriculture, forestry and fishing


Human health and social work activities


* for comprehensive industry descriptions see here.


Industries Where Women Are Paid the Most Compared to Men 


The industry with the best pay for women compared to men is Activities of households as employers of domestic personnel, with a whopping 36.94% pay increase compared to men. This industry includes jobs such as maidscooksgardeners, and babysitters - and women represent 72.31% of the workforce. 

Following this is the construction, mining, and quarrying industries whereby women are also paid more than men, on average. In the construction industry, it is unsurprising that females represent just 14.66% of workers, but what is surprising is that women get paid 17.68% more than men on average. 

Tasmyn Brittain, who works in construction provided some insights on her experiences working in the industry:

“I chose construction as there were very few women within the industry so I wanted to be able to break that barrier, and also knew that within the construction industry there is plenty of space to move up the ranks and learn as much as possible. 

However, there is a slight surprise if I turn up on a building site - most men seem taken aback to see a woman on site in full PPE. I’m definitely outnumbered in the office in terms of women versus men.

A lot of the women in construction, or at least my place of work tend to be in admin or HR roles, rather than physically working in the factories or on site.” 

Industry that pay women the most

Pay gap (%)

Activities of households as employers of domestic personnel 




Mining and quarrying



Industries That Have the Worst Female Representation


As well as the gender pay gap being a barrier to female success, there are major disparities in female representation across industries. In eight of the twenty industries analysed, less than 30% of the workforce are women. 

The industries with the worst female representation (%) are the construction,transport and storage, and mining and quarrying industries.

Industry with the worst female representation

Female representation (%)



Transportation and storage


Mining and quarrying


Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply


Water supply, sewerage, waste management and remediation activities




Activities of extraterritorial organisations and bodies


Agriculture, forestry and fishing


Information and communication


Financial and insurance activities


The dataset was sourced from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) which conducts studies of the employment circumstances of the UK population through the The Labour Force Survey (LFS).