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Women Make Up Just 15% of Top-Paid Staff in City of London Banks

Women Make Up Just 15% of Top-Paid Staff in City of London Banks
A commuter waits on the platform at Clapham Junction railway station in London, U.K., on Monday, Oct. 11, 2021. Two Bank of England officials moved to reinforce signals of an imminent rise in U.K. interest rates to curb inflation, with one telling households to brace for a "significantly earlier" increase than previously thought. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

London’s investment banks are struggling to shrink the gender pay gap, with women making up less than a fifth of top earners. 

Female bankers made up on average just 15.5% of the top quarter of earners at a sample of 10 securities units in the City of London, according to government data compiled as of April 5, 2021. That’s up only slightly from 2020’s average of 14.9%. 

That proportion is worse than the broader finance industry’s 20.5%, according to a Bloomberg News analysis of filings submitted to the U.K. government. It’s a reminder of how the best-paid parts of finance remain particularly male-dominated.
Pay Barrier | Women still make up a fraction of the City of London's best paid bankers

Morgan Stanley & Co. International Plc had the lowest proportion of women in the highest pay quartile, at 10.9%. Goldman Sachs International had the highest with 22.4%. The picture is complicated by some companies reporting separate data for subsidiaries. J.P. Morgan Securities Plc, for example, has 15.4% women in the top pay bracket, compared to 30.2% in J.P. Morgan Europe Limited.

The shortfall is stark even when examining median wages at the 10 units — an approach that strips out the impact of the highest earners. Under that measure, female workers across the lenders face an hourly pay shortfall of 34%, down from 35% a year earlier.

There’s an average 44.1% difference between male and female hourly wages, compared to 44.5% reported the previous year. That means women earned about 56 pence for every pound that men earned on average per hour.

Slow Progress | London's investment banks have failed to pick up the pace in equal pay

Gender pay gap reporting became mandatory in the U.K. in 2017 and has provided an insight into how far women’s earnings lag behind those of men. The differential has barely changed in the five years since.

The data also provides a look at how the pandemic may have hindered pay equality. Lockdowns put women and other underrepresented groups at greater risk of career setbacks and unemployment in part because they were more likely to quit their jobs to care for children. BM

Read more on childcare burdens during lockdown


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