New data released by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development reveals how the people profession has changed over the last decade.

Between 2009-2019, senior roles within the HR profession have seen a significant rise in number, with HR manager and director roles having grown by over half (57 per cent).

This is in line with an overarching trend of the people profession growing by almost a fifth (17 per cent) during the same period.

However, despite this increased chance for progression, the managers and director positions were shown to be largely held by men (61 per cent).

This is despite the wider people profession being predominantly made up of women overall (60 per cent), suggesting female HR professionals may be getting overlooked for the most senior roles.

Additionally, though the HR industry does much work linked to diversity and inclusion, less than one in 10 HR professionals (9 per cent) are from a BAME background, indicating there is still room for more diversity within the field.

The HR profession was found to be marginally less ethnically diverse compared to the general workforce, of which close to one in 8 (12 per cent) are BAME employees.

Similarly, people with disabilities were also under-represented within HR as the percentage of those with a disability (under the Equality Act 2010) in the people profession (11 per cent) is slightly lower than in the workforce as a whole (14 per cent).

In terms of location, HR was over-represented in certain regional areas including the South East (18 per cent) and London (16 per cent). This is thought to be due to the location of head offices.

Salaries showed a substantial variation within the industry with median salaries across all roles in the profession spanning from £18,372- £115,953, attributed to variation based on industry, region and level of responsibility in role.

The CIPD stated that this collective data was “a key part of understanding the present and informing the future”, providing a vital glimpse of how the profession is likely to evolve in the future.

*This is outlined in the CIPD’s ‘The UK people profession in numbers’ study which utilised data from the ONS.





Monica Sharma is an English Literature graduate from the University of Warwick. As Editor for HRreview, her particular interests in HR include issues concerning diversity, employment law and wellbeing in the workplace. Alongside this, she has written for student publications in both England and Canada. Monica has also presented her academic work concerning the relationship between legal systems, sexual harassment and racism at a university conference at the University of Western Ontario, Canada.