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Agency world more male-dominated than other industries as women take the lower paid jobs

Land Insight to 17 April NS
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New data from the UK’s biggest estate agencies shows that the industry continues to be male-dominated with low proportions of women in the highest paid roles and gender pay gaps above the national average.

From today, companies with more than 250 staff must annually publish the mean and median pay gap – expressed as the difference in the hourly rate – between female and male salaries each year across the whole company and face fines for failing to do so.

Some agents raced to get to the deadline, only releasing their ‘gender’ reports yesterday afternoon.

Firms must also report the proportion of men and women in each pay quartile as well as the differences in bonus pay.

The national average gender pay gap among all types of firms is 18.4% but analysis of the publicly available list of published data shows that the equivalent figure for residential estate agencies is 27%.

As the table below compiled by EYE shows, Savills and JLL have the widest mean gender pay gap among estate agents, with a woman’s hourly rate being respectively 45% and 36.7% lower on average than a man’s. However, every single agency business that we looked up reported a gender pay gap.

Savills has the lowest proportion of women in the highest paid roles among estate agencies at just 18%, compared with Leaders – still primarily a lettings business – which takes the accolade of having the highest proportion of women in the most senior roles, at 56.5%.

The smallest gender pay gaps were at KFH and Westminster Council’s lettings agency CityWest Homes at 16.7% and 16% respectively.

When it comes to bonuses, men are paid 82% more than women on average at Savills, with the smallest gap at CityWest Homes where there is just a 15% difference.

Savills and JLL both said the gender gap had emerged due to the industry previously being unattractive for women.

Mark Ridley, chief executive of Savills UK and Europe, said: “We are part of an industry that has historically attracted fewer women than men, with the result that there are now more men than women at a senior level.

“Addressing this imbalance is a key focus for Savills UK and we believe that we have made significant progress over the last few years to improve diversity in our business. This is visible particularly in our graduate recruitment which has had a 50:50 male to female ratio for the last four years; females also account for 52% of Savills UK employees and were last year represented in 41% of our director promotions.”

Chris Ireland, chief executive of JLL UK, said: “We are well into our journey and, while there’s still work to be done, the good news is JLL’s gender pay gap is narrowing. This is being driven by the initiatives we’ve introduced to support our talent pipeline, diversity and building a family-friendly working environment.

“Gender pay gap reports may make uncomfortable reading, but we are pleased that the Government is making businesses publish this information.

“The data that will become available will provide a valuable benchmark which will help us achieve our ambition for a more equitable industry for tomorrow, and will also shine a long overdue light on the gender picture across UK plc as a whole.”

As EYE reported earlier this week, Rightmove has revealed a pay gap among its staff: while it has an equal pay policy, most of its higher-paid senior managers are men.

We have also asked other firms with fewer than 250 staff if they would be brave enough to submit their gender pay gap data.

Feel free to share yours in the comments below.

Agent Average gender pay gap Proportion of women
in highest paid roles
Proportion of women
in lowest paid roles
Difference in
average bonus pay
Savills 45% 18% 79% 82%
JLL UK 36.70% 25.30% 43.20% 78.90%
Foxtons 36.20% 28.60% 51.10% 22.30%
Romans 31.80% 35.30% 51.70% 66%
Carter Jonas 31.40% 32.30% 79.40% 51.20%
Chancellors 30.40% 23.10% 54.40% 61.20%
Dexters London 28.70% 33.30% 58.20% 39.50%
Connells 28% 35% 69% 53%
Your Move 25.90% 40.20% 68.70% 47%
Marsh & Parsons 25.70% 31% 52.30% 27.80%
Reeds Rains 25.70% 42.50% 65.10% 54.90%
Sequence 23% 40% 66% 49%
Countrywide 22.90% 44.70% 63.70% 45.20%
Knight Frank 22.90% 39.30% 77.20% 51.60%
Andrews 21.40% 29.10% 64.20% 54.70%
Leaders 21.30% 56.50% 73.80% 55.40%
Peter Alan Ltd 20% 33% 80% 24%
KFH 16.70% 47.40% 47.10% 25.10%
CityWest Homes 16% 32% 47% 15%


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Source:: Agency world more male-dominated than other industries as women take the lower paid jobs