A recent survey carried out by U.K’s Ministry of Education found that the gap in pay between men and women working in investment banking has increased by up to 30% over the course of the last year and is forecast to further rise over the next decade.

The survey, which had some 9,000 respondents, was conducted by the MoE as part of a wider drive to combat gender inequality.

Secretary of State for Education, Justine Greening, is a woman with a financial services background.

10 of London’s largest recruitment firms, who number elite investment banks including Goldman Sachs among their clientele, found that female candidates were offered on average 30% less  by the banks than their male counterparts for identical roles.

One recruiter quoted a poignant example in the survey: “ A male candidate declined an offer from one such bank for personal reasons, the role was then offered to the next best candidate with a 30% reduction in salary. She happened to be female…”.

“More often than not, the female candidates are also better qualified for these roles,” the recruiter added.

Not one of the banks represented by the recruitment firms disputed the findings. Their only feedback was that they wanted the best people to work for them and paid salaries in line with the merits of their employees.

One senior investment banker who declined to be named said: “Women should be paid less. I can’t think of a single male candidate who has ever taken time off to give birth. Why should we pay to train these candidates when they’ll inevitably quit to go and have a baby?”

Supporting the work done by the MoE,  accountancy giant PWC found that the gender pay gap in financial services is over 34% and the largest of any sector.

Based on current trends, it is predicted the gap could double within the next decade.

Sadly, the government is aware of this and unprepared to take serious action. The women and equalities committee, a cross-party selection of MPs, said the government was failing to achieve its goal of eliminating the gender pay gap by ignoring the evidence.

The committee chair said it was “deeply disappointing” that ministers had not taken on board its recommendations, which were published in light of the Education Ministry’s survey.

It is no surprise that Goldman’s new office on Fleet St is being built with a glass ceiling…


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