Gail Danvers, Banking & Financial Services Director at PSD, attended PWC’s “Women in Risk” event to discuss the gender pay gap.

Man Woman on StairsThe discussion comes after firms with more than 250 employees were required to report on their gender pay gap by the end of March 2018.  The gender pay gap at UK Financial Services firms is significant and this has certainly made some headlines and has provided some interesting reading. Anne Hurst, Senior Diversity & Inclusion Consultant at PWC, spoke about what we have seen as a result of these reports and what is being implemented at PWC to address the issue. 

The gender pay gap is defined as the difference in median pay between men and women, but crucially this measure does not take into account equal pay for equal work. The main cause for the gap is the presence of more men than women in senior roles. It's here with the more substantial remuneration packages that we see greatest inequalities. During the discussion, most were in agreement that overall there is “equal pay” for “equal roles” or close to it, but most participants acknowledged there was a very significant gender pay gap within their organisations at the more senior levels.

“The main cause for the gap is the presence of more men than women in senior roles which come with substantial remuneration packages.”

In order for this issue to be addressed and for change to occur, recruitment processes will need to become more inclusive.  We are increasingly being asked to provide more diverse candidate shortlists offering a 50/50 ratio of men and women. The PWC study “Winning the Fight for Female Talent” in March 2017 shows that 28% of employers are using software to create language neutral job postings, and 28% are using platforms that ignore traditional information such as gender and age, in order to focus on a candidates' competence.  Beyond the recruitment process, mentoring and identifying female talent as well as more practical solutions around agile working are also identified as the key drivers for change.  

“28% of employers are using software to create language neutral job postings, and 28% are using platforms that ignore traditional information such as gender and age, in order to focus on a candidates' competence”

It was a lively debate and everyone was in agreement that more should be done to address this issue in Financial Services. CEO's are focusing more on talent diversity and inclusion to drive innovation, and whilst forcing firms to publish “gender pay gap” figures was a somewhat blunt tool, it has as least led to far more discussion and debate on the subject. 



Gail Danvers was instrumental in setting up and shaping PSD's Banking & Financial Services and its Risk & Compliance teams. Gail specialises in leadership level appointments and hosts regular Operational Risk Forums.