The gender pay gap in Britain is widening as male managers earn more than twice as much in bonuses as their female counterparts, a study published Tuesday said.

The average bonus for male managers totalled ??6,442 last year compared with ??3,029 for women, while their basic salaries were almost 25 percent bigger, the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) said.

The study of 43,000 managers suggested that men in senior positions would earn ??141,000 more in bonuses than women during their working life.

At board level, female directors were given an average bonus of ??36,270, compared to ??63,700 for men.

CMI chief executive Ann Francke said: "Despite genuine efforts to get more women onto boards, it's disappointing to find that not only has progress stalled, but women are also losing ground at senior levels.

"Women are the majority of the workforce at entry level but still lose out on top positions and top pay. The time has come to tackle this situation more systemically."

She added that business would miss out on growth, employee engagement, and "ethical management cultures" if they failed to develop women at the highest level.

Yvette Cooper, shadow minister for women and equalities, said: "It's disgraceful that the corporate gender pay gap seems to be getting wider rather than narrowing.

"Women executives already only get three-quarters of the pay of male executives in similar jobs, and now this research shows women managers are only getting half the bonuses too.

"Too many organisations still need to get their act together and stop under-valuing women's talent."

Mark Crail of human resources company XpertHR, which was involved in the research, said the pay gap may be partly explained by the different career paths taken by men and women, with traditional "male" roles more likely to attract bonuses.

"While women are generally getting lower bonuses than men, especially at senior levels, they may be entering occupations where there is less of a culture of bonus payments," he said.

"The question for employers is why that's the case."