Newly published data shows that the UK financial services and insurance industry has a much higher gender pay gap than any other business sector.

The difference between the average male salary and average female salary in financial services is 39.8%. The nest highest result was 26.8% in the electric and gas sector, and education was the only other sector to report a figure in excess of 25%.

The gender pay gap in financial account manager roles is 49.1%, and this is the biggest pay differential for any job role.

The research, compiled by payment provider Paymentsense and using data from the Office for National Statistics, also shows that London has the highest gender pay gap of any major UK city. Given that there are so many financial jobs in London, it was highly likely that the London gender pay gap and the financial services gender pay gap would reflect each other, however many people think financial services firms have been slow to promote women to higher paid senior roles.

London’s gender pay gap is 30.4%, equivalent to a difference of £8,303 in the average male and female salaries. The second biggest gap is in Birmingham, at 17.8%, and Sheffield had the smallest gap, at 11.3%. Results for other cities included: Leeds (16.3%), Liverpool (15.6%), Bristol (14.8%), Manchester (14.7%), Glasgow (14.2%), Nottingham (12.3%) and Newcastle (11.5%).

In April 2019, Reuters reported that there had been very little progress made in trying to reduce the pay gap within financial stage; and also commented that more than one-third of financial firms had seen their pay gap increase. Reuters analysed data from 89 large companies and found that the average reduction in the pay gap at these firms over the previous 12 months was just 0.6%. Only three of the 89 firms reported a pay gap below the national average for all business sectors, which is 14.3%.

One major high street bank had a gap as high as 61%. One investment bank also saw its asset management department’s gender pay gap rise by 13.1% between April 2018 and April 2019, even though the bank’s overall gap reduced by 0.1%.

Firms with more than 250 employees have been legally obliged to publish their gender pay gap data on an annual basis since April 2018. They can choose to add other supporting information to their report, such an explanation of the reason for any pay gaps and what the firm is planning to do to reduce any pay gaps.

Jayne-Anne Gadhia, the former chief executive of Virgin Money, who runs the separate government scheme the Women in Finance Charter, said:

“Businesses need to realize that they will not succeed unless they embrace diversity as a key driver of results and growth. They need to focus on it, measure it, set targets and hold senior executives accountable for making progress – year in year out.”

Senior figures at the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) have spoken of the benefits to firms of embracing diversity and says a diverse senior management team and workforce can introduce new ways of thinking and reduce risk. Megan Butler, the FCA’s director of supervision, cited research by MSCI, the index provider, which suggested companies without a high level of gender diversity on their board were 24% more likely to experience governance issues.

The information shown in this article was correct at the time of publication. Articles are not routinely reviewed and as such are not updated. Please be aware the facts, circumstances or legal position may change after publication of the article