Women are getting a bad deal on pay and bonuses in the UK financial sector, with some receiving around 80 percent less in performance-related pay than their male counterparts an enquiry by the Equality and Human Rights Commission revealed Monday.
Female employees in the financial sector earned an average of £2,875 in performance-related pay per year, compared to an average of £14,554 for men, making a gender pay gap of 80 percent, the inquiry showed.
The commission also said that nearly all women starting new finance jobs will start with lower average salaries than men. It shows that the gender gap is entrenched right from the recruitment process, the report said.
“The financial sector has the potential to play a central role in Britain’s recovery. But it has to address this shocking disparity of rewards,” Trevor Phillips, chair of the commission, said.
“For business to thrive in the new economy it simply can’t afford to recruit and reward in the way it has done in the past,” he added.
The commission sent a questionnaire to 50 UK companies, employing 22.6 per cent of workers in the sector. It is the first time this type of data on gender pay gaps in the sector has been collected, the commission said.
The finance sector has one of the highest overall gender pay gaps in the UK economy, the commission said citing government figures. Women working full-time jobs earned 55 percent less than men, compared to a pay gap of 28 percent for the general economy.
Of the companies surveyed, the commission found a gender gap of 39 percent for basic pay, which rose to a 47 percent gap when performance-related pay, bonuses and overtime were added.
The inquiry said that an unusually high proportion of workers in the sector fall into the 25-39 age group. Because that tends to be the age when many women have childcare responsibilities, it could be a factor dragging on women’s pay packets, the report said.
“I’m encouraged by the firms which are developing transparent pay policies and flexible approaches to work. But there aren’t enough of them,” Phillips said.