C&M reveals travel's gender pay split - 2022

C&M's Travel Gender Pay Gap Index - 2022

Return to News & insights
  • Travel industry almost eliminates gender pay gap for non-executive roles
  • But pay gap for higher-salaried roles increases to 14.2 per cent
  • Women awarded 71 per cent of all roles in travel
  • Overall pay gap widens to 11.5 per cent

Gender pay split

The gender pay gap for non-executive roles in the travel industry was almost non-existent in 2022, according to new research from C&M Travel Recruitment.

For junior roles (those paying up to £22,000), the gap was just 0.41 per cent with the average man earning £85 more than a woman, while the gap was reversed for mid-level positions (those paying between £22,001 and £29,999) with females earning £103 (or 0.39 per cent) more than males.

There was also a very small pay gap for senior roles (those paying between £30,000 and £39,999) with men taking home an average of £267 (or 0.81 per cent) more than their female equivalents.

However, there was a stark difference in salaries for executive roles (those paying £40,000 and above), with the average male earning £55,792 – a huge £7,402 (or 14.21 per cent) more than a female counterpart. This gap has increased from 11.94 per cent in 2019 and 10.56 per cent in 2018.

Due to the difference in salaries for high-end jobs, the overall pay gap in the travel industry stands at 11.50 per cent (or £3,606), which is down from 14.15 per cent in 2019, 18.35 per cent in 2018 and 12.75 per cent in 2017.

Gender role split

In terms of the overall gender split in travel, females continued to be awarded the vast majority of new travel jobs with a total of 70.7 per cent in 2022 – up from 68.7 per cent in 2019 and 68.6 per cent in 2018.

Females took 81.6 per cent of all entry-level positions last year (up from 70.8 per cent in 2019 and 74.1 per cent in 2018) and 76.8 per cent of all mid-level roles (up from 72.9 per cent in 2019 and 75.0 per cent in 2018).

For senior roles, females were awarded 66.0 per cent of all new jobs in 2022 (compared to 69.9 per cent in 2019 and 62.3 per cent in 2018), while 55.0 per cent of all executive roles were taken by females (compared to 53.2 per cent in 2019 and just 38.1 per cent in 2018).

Speaking about the findings, Barbara Kolosinska, Managing Director at C&M Travel Recruitment, said: "On the face of it, these figures make for good reading – the gender pay gap has been almost eliminated at nearly all levels of the travel industry. However, even though we are now seeing women being awarded the majority of executive positions in travel, men continue to dominate roles in the £70,000+ range – and these top-end jobs account for the overall gap in pay that we are seeing.

"The travel industry has come a long way from just a few years ago, with more and more women being placed in higher-salaried roles, but more work still needs to be done. There is a real opportunity for travel to lead the way by creating true pay parity at all levels and eliminating the gender pay gap for good, but this will not happen until we start seeing more women being awarded the very top jobs."

Lindsay Garvey-Jones, Chair at The Association of Women Travel Executives (AWTE), said: "The gender pay gap is a multifaceted issue with various factors at play. While some argue that it may not always be outright discrimination, choices are often influenced by circumstances and lack of education or awareness. Although businesses are now required to submit data on the gender pay gap, this data alone does not provide a comprehensive picture.

"Many women in our industry face complex choices regarding career advancement, often due to family responsibilities or health-related events like menopause or caregiving. These challenges can hinder their confidence and progress. Additionally, women tend to gravitate towards certain roles in industries like aviation, which are traditionally lower-paying. This raises questions about the industry's role in promoting diverse career options to women during their education. To address the gender pay gap, it is crucial to prioritize initiatives that tackle these underlying issues. By taking proactive steps, we can aim to close the pay gap much sooner than the predicted 202-year timeline [forecast by the World Economic Forum] and create a better future for generations to come."


C&M Travel Recruitment was established in 1998 and is the largest and most successful specialist travel recruitment company in the UK.

For further information please contact: Owen Mckeon (Marketing and Operations Manager - 0161 238 4497 / owen@candm.co.uk) or Barbara Kolosinska (Managing Director - 07507 602 069 / barbara@candm.co.uk).