Gender pay gap not shifting

Initial analysis suggests the gender pay gap is still high and is worsening for some employers.

Gender Pay Gap


Nearly 80% of UK employers pay men more than women on average, with the gender pay gap having worsened since last year and since gender pay gap reporting started in 2017, according to analysis by the Financial Times.

The analysis is based on average salaries and the difference is in large part due to the different jobs men and women tend to do and the underrepresentation of women in senior roles.

The Guardian says its analysis shows the median pay gap stands at 9.4%, the same as in 2017, the first year for reporting. It adds that the private sector gap is 8%, compared to 15.1% in the public sector, roughly similar to last year’s figures.

Other initial analysis has focused on the banking sector, which has traditionally got one of the highest gender pay gaps in the UK, particularly when it comes to investment banking. Financial services, construction and education continue to have the largest gender pay gaps.

Reuters is reporting that HSBC, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Standard Chartered have all seen the gender pay gap widen in 2022. The gender pay gap at HSBC was up from 44.9% to 45.2% and the UK arm of US investment bank Goldman Sachs International saw its gender pay gap rise from 51.3% to 53.2% [Goldman Sachs (UK) SVC Limited’s gap is 16% and Goldman Sachs Asset Management International is 51.3%]. Morgan Stanley’s gender pay gap was up from 40.5% to 40.8% and Standard Chartered’s from from 27% to 29%. The banks blamed underrepresentation of women in senior roles and said they were taking action to address this.

HSBC says 51% of its employees are women and of this, the majority (62%) are in junior roles. As at 5th April 2022, 29.5% of its senior leadership were women (up 0.8 percentage points on 2021). The mean bonus gap is also up – from 62.2% to 64%. In terms of action to address this, it states: “The actions we are taking to improve representation across the whole organisation will be reflected in our disclosures in years to come.”

Goldman Sachs says it is “intent” on changing its gender pay gap and has a “deliberate focus on the hiring, retention and development of our women talent at all levels”. It cites its global aspirational goals and Women in Finance Charter commitment to 30% of women in UK senior roles. It also says that it has established a number of business segment specific Inclusion and Diversity Committees (IDC), to drive broader ownership and accountability and has a number of diverse talent development initiatives.

Morgan Stanley’s report is led by Clare Woodman, Head of EMEA & CEO of Morgan Stanley & Co. International Plc and contains a more detailed list of actions being taken under headings such as recruitment, manager education and Path to Leadership and Robust Talent Management. On manager education it lists a multi-tiered mandatory inclusive leadership curriculum for all managers to ensure that performance processes are inclusive and the provision of “an enhanced suite of immersive and scalable training options, with practical tools to lead inclusive and high-performing teams on key topics including employee engagement and retention, career progression, effective feedback and wellbeing support”.

Standard Chartered also has a more detailed report, which mostly focused on broader issue of fair pay, but in a section on gender diversity it cites specific policies such as enhanced parental leave, menopause support and flexible working and benefits. It cites its targets and says that at the end of 2022, women represented 43 per cent at the Board level (up
from 31 per cent in 2021) and 32 per cent of senior leadership roles (up from 31 per cent in 2021). It says 46 per cent of its Management Team are women (up from 38 per cent in 2021). It adds that it includes gender balance considerations in all hiring and promotion decisions and that “support for the development of women and individuals with care-giving responsibilities is provided through internal policies, resources and support groups”.

Other banks reported a falling gender pay gap, but the falls were slight. Barclays, for instance, said its gender pay gap is down from 36.3% to 35.9%. 10,216 employers have reported their figures as of today.

The TUC has called for the Government to make it mandatory for companies to provide an action plan with their gender pay reporting. Jemima Olchawski, chief executive at the Fawcett Society, said: “Reporting is a good way of identifying pay inequalities, but taking action is key.”


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