‘Gender pay gap at most senior levels of finance sector as high as 91%’

Woman in boardroom


The gender pay gap is 91% for those earning £1m or more each year at UK financial services firms and it has been getting wider, with 4,600 men in this income bracket and only 400 women, according to analysis of latest HMRC figures by Fox & Partners, the employment law specialists.

The average gender pay gap for the UK is 9.7%. Fox & Partner says its analysis shows the gender pay gap gets worse further up the pay scale. It states that the main reason for this disparity in pay is a much higher proportion of men than women in senior roles in the UK. Only 6% of chief executives at financial services firms in the UK are women.

The gap between the number of men and women earning £1m or more in UK financial services each year is widening –increasing 17% to 4,200 over the last five years, up from 3,600 in 2010/11, it states.

Recent research revealed that the average median gender pay gap in the financial services sector as a whole is 22%, with the average bonus gap reaching 46%.

Caroline Field, Partner at Fox & Partners, says: “The yawning gender pay gap at the top end of the financial services industry has been getting worse – not better.”

“We do not fully understand the size of the gender pay gap. The data we have seen does not compare like for like. Partners and LLP members are not covered by the reporting requirements – it may be significantly higher in some sectors and at different levels than the reported figures show.”

She warns that equal pay group actions within financial services are now becoming a possibility. “The shift in culture towards speaking up, the increased pressure for transparency and the availability of creative funding solutions for collective actions have removed some of the structural barriers which may have historically prevented a challenge to the gender pay gap. Safety in numbers may also mean we may see an increase in equal pay claims in this sector.”

“The Gender Pay Gap reporting has forced organisations to focus their attention on some important issues. The benefit for most is the hope that organisations learn from this and champion progress for the future. So much can be gained from diversity and equality, not just minimising the risk of exposure for claims for discrimination and equal pay.”

“When launching equal pay claims, it is also important to look at discrimination in the opportunities given to a male counterpart which may underlie higher salaries.”

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