HSBC posts 61% gender pay gap

HSBC has published its gender pay audit figures for 2018.

Equality woman and man


HSBC’s average gender pay gap has increased from 59% to 61% over the past year, according to its latest figures.

Its median pay gap also grew from 29% to 30%.  That compares to 31.5% for Lloyds. Many of the other big banks have yet to release their 2018 audits, but last year’s figures show Barclays on 48% and RBS on 37.2%.

HSBC said its gap was in part due to a lack of women in senior management posts. Just 23% of senior management positions are held by women while 70% of the lowest paid role are taken by women. HSBC also puts the gender pay gap down to the number of women who are working part time. Although the pay gap is based on hourly earnings, HSBC says employees who work part-time receive their bonuses on a ‘pro rata’ basis and that the calculation for the gender bonus gap does not allow any adjustment to bring these bonuses back to their ‘full-time equivalent’ level.

Although men and women are almost equally likely to receive a bonus, women’s average bonus pay is 85% lower than men’s.

In addition, HSBC says many of its senior global roles are based in the UK as this is the location for Group head office and some UK entities contain a wide range of businesses, from investment banking to retail banking, which has an impact on the pay gap.

It states that the overall share of women in global senior leadership roles has increased year-on-year over the past five years and was 26.8% at the end of 2017. It is a signatory to the Women in Finance Charter and the 30% Club campaign. It has set aspirational targets to get to 30% of senior leaders being female by 2020.

Its action plan includes making gender diverse shortlists a requirement for all external senior leadership hires, a new inclusive Hiring Essentials course for hiring managers across HSBC and work on improving the pipeline of women advancing up the career ladder.

In order to retain female talent, it says it has a parent coaching programme, promotes shared parental leave and sabbatical policies and has a new Flex employee network. It is also looking to identify opportunities to enhance its flexible working proposition. Its Balance network is involved in work on gender equality and it says it is improving pay transparency for junior roles.

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