Women lose top-paying financial jobs

The proportion of women in the highest paid positions in financial services has declined.

Analysis by the payroll data company Spktral provided to Private equity news ” sister post Financial news shows that for the 2020/21 reporting cycle, the proportion of women in the lowest paid quarter among financial services and insurance companies rose to 59.3%, an increase of 1.3 percentage points.

The proportion of women in the top earnings quartile fell to 29.2%, a drop of 0.5 percentage point. The proportion in the top middle quarter also fell 1.2 percentage points to 39.9%.

The data will fuel new concerns about how women in the workplace have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, with the term ‘shecession’ coined to describe an economic downturn that has worsened the plight of millions of women. additional.

As of 2017, employers with more than 250 employees must report their gender pay gap – the difference between the average earnings of men and women in the overall workforce – on a government portal.

The data from the Spktral analysis aggregated submissions from some 223 companies in the financial services and insurance industry and is based on the snapshot date of April 5, 2020. Under UK government reporting rules, this data was due il a month ago, April 4. .

While the Equality and Human Rights Commission has granted a six-month extension, until October 5, 2021, until it takes enforcement action, Heather Williamson, director of business development at Spktral noted that only just over 50% of financial services and insurance companies have submitted so far, as some 453 have done so in the previous reporting year.

“For the report due on April 4, 2022, organizations should already have everything they need to start preparing their analysis and report, but some are still reviewing last year’s report,” she said. .

Although there were increases in the median and average gender pay gap in the sector to 25.9% and 28% respectively, and the median and median bonus gap, which reached 43.5% and 54.6%, Williamson argued that issues such as representation at senior levels are just as important as the overall gender pay gap.

“Our goal right now is that we shouldn’t be focusing on the pay gap percentage, reducing an entire organization to single digits, which may be unnecessary,” she said. “Representation is more important than the pay gap. Even with companies that have, say, a 60/40% female split, you have to ask yourself: Why are only 15% of them in the top 25%? [of earners]? “

“We see people dismissing the gender pay gap reports, but [women] still do not enter the top of the business. This is what we are fighting against. If we can get more people to think about representation as well as the wage gap, then that’s definitely a new angle.

Bev Shah, founder of industry diversity group CityHive, says she has heard anecdotal accounts of women in middle management positions stepping down from their roles during the pandemic.

Although there has been strong growth in the city’s various graduate learning and recruiting programs, such as 100blackinterns and Investment 2020, Shah said not enough attention was being paid to the progression. career once women joined companies.

“Companies are only focusing on entry-level positions,” she said. “The internship and graduate programs are all great, but there’s not a lot of action in the middle because you can’t grow that pool organically. We are talking about experienced people; there is no magic tree of women to choose from.

“Companies don’t want to focus on what they need to change structurally to keep these people in place. You can bring in a million but if you don’t keep them nothing will change.

Aggregated data is a place to start, Shah says, but needs to be “a stick to hit people with” to inspire action.

“If people don’t take action, it will start to show.”

Spktral data shows that entities within Barclays, RBC and HSBC have the highest median wage differentials in the sample.

Barclays had the highest median pay gap at 59.5% and an average pay gap of 41.6%. The bank also had one of the sample’s highest median bonus spreads at 80.6% and an average bonus spread of 58.8%.

RBC Europe had a median pay gap of 54%, an average pay gap of 47%, a median bonus gap of 80% and an average bonus gap of 64%.

HSBC bank had a median pay gap of 53.7% and an average pay gap of 54.4%, with a similar gap in its bonuses of 67.5% for the mean and 64.4% for the median numbers.

Barclays said the figures only apply to its head office, which employs a small number of people. The bank, however, refused to provide a staff figure.

For the entire Barclays UK business, the average pay gap was 38.1%, the median 37.2% and the average and median bonus spreads were 49.2% and 67.6%.

RBC also said the figures were not representative of RBC in the UK as a whole, as they relate to only one entity.

The company said its average gender pay gap for 2020 was 38% for all RBC entities in the UK and its median gender pay gap was 37%.

“We have made our commitment known through our Women in Finance Charter pledge to have an initial target of 25% female representation in leadership positions in the British Isles by 2025,” said a door -speak. “At the entry level, we are committed to maintaining gender parity for our graduate admissions, while at the senior level, we are committed to ensuring the representation of women in the decision-making process for all new hires and promotion advice. “

A spokesperson for HSBC said HSBC Bank’s figures relate to an entity of around 2,000 employees, but this is a smaller sample than its largest UK entity, HSBC UK, which has some 20,000. employees.

HSBC UK has an average pay gap of 32.9% and a median pay gap of 20.2%, which it says is “more comparable to UK national peers” in its latest report on the gender pay gap.

To contact the author of this story with comments or news, email Justin Cash


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