Women in some of the UK's leading finance companies are paid almost 50% less than male counterparts, an inquiry by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has found.
In 2008, the finance sector employed 1.3 million people in Britain, which equates to 4% of the total workforce. And 51% of employees within the finance sector are women.
The EHRC sent a questionnaire to 50 companies employing 22.6% of workers in the sector. The companies' responses show nearly all women taking up new jobs start on lower average salaries than men, which suggests the gender pay gap is being further entrenched by recruitment patterns.
The EHRC study also suggests that the sector's age profile may be a key factor blocking women's chances of success. An unusually high proportion of workers in the sector fall into the 25-39 age group - the age at which women tend to have childcare responsibilities.
Other findings include:
- Women employees earned an average of £2,875 in annual performance related
pay compared to an average of £14,554 for men - a gender pay gap of 80%.
- The gap in basic annual salary between women and men is 39%. However, this
gender pay gap rises to 47% for total annual earnings when performance related
pay, bonuses and overtime are taken into account.
- Women receive significantly lower
performance related pay on average than men in 94% of cases.
- Women have lower starting salaries on average than men
starting in the same period in 86% of cases.
- There are significant 'in-grade' gender pay gaps, where men and women are assumed to be doing the same or
equivalent work, in 63% of cases.
- Less than half of the companies surveyed make an effort to address the pay gap.
- Only 23% of companies reported they have undertaken an equal pay audit.
The finance sector has one of the highest gender pay gaps in the UK economy - with women working full-time earning 55% less annual gross salary than men. This compares to a pay gap of 28% for the economy generally.
** Additional information & advice **
Depending on the circumstances of your case, however, it may be better to speak with a solicitor who specialises in employment law. You can be matched with an employment law solicitor in your area for free via solicitor matching services, which can also help you to understand the best course of action for your situation and whether you are ready to hire a solicitor.
And, again depending on your situation, they may be able to help you find a solicitor who will agree to take your case on a "no win no fee" basis, which means you don't have to pay for the solicitor's services unless you win your case.