There has been an overall increase in median salary by 1% since our 2015 survey, and our report indicates that the chemical sciences outperforms the UK benchmark in access to learning and development opportunities.
As members advance through their career, there is an upward trend in the perception that their job makes full use of their skills. The biggest disconnect is for those at the start of their career, potentially indicating that skills gained at university don’t always match the skills required on the job. There is also a clear desire among members for opportunities to develop leadership skills, which they consider the most important for career progression.
Work-life balance and early career opportunities
The importance our members place on work-life balance continues to show with holiday allowance and access to flexible working hours rated as highly important, and it is positive to see employers in the chemical sciences offering a wide range of benefits.
We had a higher number of responses from younger teachers and academics than the last survey in 2015. The greatest opportunity for responsibility early on in career is in teaching and academia. Environmental monitoring and analyst roles show significant increase in younger people entering these sectors.
Gender pay gap still present
The gender pay gap is present in the chemical sciences as it is in other areas of work, and has slightly increased since our 2015 report. The results also indicate a skills confidence gap, with a larger percentage of women perceiving they need to develop their skills in order to advance in their career, than male respondents. Men also still dominate in positions of leadership, with only 23% of female survey respondents in positions of high responsibility compared to 40% of male respondents. To investigate the different factors that lead to this low representation of women at leadership level we are carrying out an in depth piece of research into women’s progression, to be published in late 2018.
Read more and get involved next time
Our members can download the full report here. If you are not a Royal Society of Chemistry member, or are seeking to use the report on behalf of your employer, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
This report is only possible with the input of our members, so thanks again to all those who completed this year’s survey. Our next report in 2019 will be the 100th year of our pay and reward survey so do look out for this and take part.