The gender pay gap for those in top finance roles in the UK is twice as large as in the US and Europe, new figures reveal, in an embarrassment to big firms that still fail to live up to their word on equality.
According to a survey conducted by fintech firm Spendesk, women with job titles like head of finance manager and head of accounts earn just £77,000 for every £100,000 made by men. That compares to £88,000 in the US and Europe.
The figures represent a wider case of inequality at the top of the business world, with only 10 FTSE 100 firms having a female chief executive. Labour says closing the gender pay gap will be a top priority if it wins the next election.
As stark as the difference is, it’s still not as bad as in 2022, when women in the UK were paid only 70% as much as men.
Rodolphe Ardant, founder and CEO of Spendesk, said the findings were not just significant for moral reasons, but because firms that were underpaying women were likely to miss out on top talent: “It’s encouraging to see a slight decrease in the gender pay gap, but of course we would rather not have any gap at all. This should be a cause for concern for all companies. We need to see more determined action to achieve genuine pay parity.
“Employers who fail to guarantee appropriate equitable remuneration risk losing the very best talent, which then risks the growth and survival of their business.”
Spendesk’s CFO Julien Lafouge said: “The gap has reduced, so at least the trend is in the right direction. But the gap is much, much smaller elsewhere.”
It seems that there is an increasing level of dissatisfaction with the extent to which women in finance roles are underpaid. Only 61% of women said they were satisfied with their pay, compared to 71% of men. That’s a change from 2022, when men were more likely to say they weren’t earning enough, despite being paid much more.
Women lower down the corporate ladder are most affected, with the pay gap shrinking for the most senior roles like chief financial officer. The gap was most significant at the biggest companies, with women at companies with 1,000 or more staff paid just 66p for every pound earned by men.
There are signs of a similarly alarming pay gap in the finance sector, which has the largest difference of any industry, a painful embarrassment to banks claims of gender impartiality. Women in City jobs earn only £68,800 for every £100,000 earned by men, a gap of £9,000 more than the next-worst sector, education. That compares to a difference of 19.9% in tech, 15.8% in construction and 13.2% in retail.