Fewer women among top earners in UK finance since pandemic, report finds

Women make up less than 20 percent of top earners in sector, university research finds.

The research was conducted by the London School of Economics and Political Science [Yann Tessier/Reuters]Published On 27 May 202427 May 2024

Women make up a smaller proportion of top earners in financial and professional services in the United Kingdom than before the COVID-19 pandemic, research from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) has found.

Women made up 19.4 percent of the top 1 percent of earners in the sector on average between the first quarter of 2020 and the second quarter of 2023, down from 19.7 percent in the three years up to the first quarter of 2020, the research published on Monday showed.

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“The lack of progression of women to the most senior roles in financial and professional services is a major factor contributing to the gender pay gap,” said Grace Lordan, an associate professor at the LSE.

“We are going backwards but I am not surprised. For progress to be made, there needs to be a bigger shift towards recognising that diversity is good for business.”

Some of the UK’s top financial firms pay women 28.8 percent less on average than their male counterparts, according to salary data from 21 companies reviewed by Reuters last month.

However, the LSE research, based on the government’s quarterly Labour Force Survey, showed that women made up 28.3 percent of the top 10 percent of earners between the first quarter of 2020 and the second quarter of 2023, a rise of 2.5 percent from the three-year period up to the first quarter of 2020.

Source: Reuters