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Goldman Sachs pays UK female staff 56% less than male colleagues

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 17 March 2018, 14:06 IST

Female employees in the UK are paid 56% less than male colleagues at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., another stark example of the entrenched gender imbalances in the financial-services industry.

The gap widens to 72.2% for year-end discretionary bonuses, a spokesman for the Wall Street bank said Friday. This imbalance was also seen at HSBC Holdings Plc, where females were paid 59% less than the male employees, the data of  Goldman Sachs Group Inc is more narrower. According to the Office for National Statistics, the national average pay gap is about 18%.

The gender imbalance and pay gap is seen at most of the financial firms, where male employees are appointed for  higher post in the industry. According to the few employees at Goldman Sachs, there are only 10 to 12% women of the highest-paid. According to government research from 2016, the above data can be compared with other investment banks in the UK.

Goldman Sachs said it aims to have women make up half its workforce in the future, starting with an even split in its class of college graduates by 2021. The bank didn’t provide a timeline for achieving gender parity.

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Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein and President David Solomon wrote in a memo to staff on Thursday that it aims to increase more opportunities for women and diverse professionals to rise to the highest levels of their firm.

While Goldman Sachs is among the first international lenders to disclose its gender pay data, the bank was not among the first to sign up to a UK government-backed charter committing financial services firms to fill more senior management positions with women. Today it joined 44 other companies, including UBS Group AG, in signing up. The Charter now covers more than 650,000 financial services employees in the UK.

The bank has tried several initiatives over the years to increase the number of women among its senior ranks. In 2003, it opened the City of London’s first on-site corporate creche to help working parents. The firm also offers leadership training for aspiring female bankers and allocates time for them to spend with senior leaders for mentoring.

All companies with more than 250 UK employees have to disclose their gender pay gaps by April 4. As of Friday, only about 2,400 of an expected 9,000 companies had submitted data to the government website. Among large companies, HSBC, the UK’s biggest bank, has so far reported the highest mean gender pay gap, at 59%. The privately-owned fashion retailer Phase Eight is higher still, at 64.8%.

The biggest U.S.-based banks have yet to report for their British employees, though in recent weeks, they’ve voluntarily published information about their “adjusted” gender pay gaps -- a less uniform audit that tries to measure whether their male and female employees are paid equally for equal work.

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First published: 17 March 2018, 14:06 IST