UK finance still struggles with gender pay gap
Virtual meetings have afforded women greater visibility during the Covid-19 crisis, but little to nothing has happened. Will things finally start to change in the financial sector?
Despite commitments by leaders of financial sector firms to improve gender balance, analysis of gender pay gap reports shows that little or no improvement has been made over the last three years in the UK.
Research by gender diversity consultancy and networking firm E2W shows that of the 61 corporate and investment banks and asset managers that the firm follows only four in the UK – Baillie Gifford, Royal London Asset Management, Vanguard and Wells Fargo – are on track to close their pay gaps this decade.
At the lowest quartile earning levels, financial institutions seem to making some headway in achieving balance, but at senior levels little is changing at all.
Only seven firms followed by E2W– State Street and State Street Global Advisors, Scottish Widows, BNY Mellon, Baillie Gifford, Aviva and Aberdeen Asset Management – have 30% or more of women in top quartile wage earning roles.
Almost half the firms had proportionally fewer women in top quartile earning roles in April 2019 than they did in 2017.
Mark Freed is the chief executive of E2W. He says the data doesn’t surprise him.
“Where the real shock comes is when you start reading the bank corporate responsibility and diversity reports that talk about how diversity is mission critical and business case important. If that were true, then why aren’t they making more progress?” he asks.