The chair of the Treasury Select Committee has issued a warning to finance firms that they should be ready to explain their gender pay gaps, after the Bank of England today revealed its gap stood at 24.2 per cent.
By April next year, all UK firms and public sector organisations with 250 or more employees have to report what they pay their male and female staff.
Chair Nicky Morgan said:
As part of our Women in Finance inquiry, we will keep a close eye on organisations as they report their gender pay gap before the April 2018 deadline.
We may call for organisations to give evidence to the Committee to hear about best practice. Financial firms should be prepared to explain any gender pay gap that they may have.
The Bank of England has today revealed a gender pay gap of 24.2 per cent, having faced scrutiny from the Treasury Select Committee over diversity at its senior levels last month.
In its 2017 gender pay gap report, the BoE reported a median pay gap, the difference between midpoints in the ranges of hourly earnings of men and women, of 24.2 per cent.
It said the mean pay gap, the difference between hourly earnings of men and women, was 21 per cent.
When it came to bonuses, the median gap widened to 25.6 per cent, while the mean was 23.6 per cent. Staff across the bank, aside from governors, are awarded an annual award depending on performance.
BoE governor Mark Carney said: "We’re confident that men and women are paid equally for doing the same job at the Bank; however, the greater proportion of men than women in senior roles creates a gender pay gap."
Last month, Morgan said the Bank needed to improve diversity "at the most senior levels", and encouraged the Treasury to make "all efforts" to secure as diverse range of candidates for the Bank's policy committees as possible.
Today, she said the Bank's measures to address its gap "seem to be on the right track, but we cannot be complacent".
The national gender pay gap, measured by the median for full-time workers, was 9.1 per cent in the year up to April 2017.
Carney said that the bank has made "steady progress" towards its objective to reach 35 per cent female representation in senior roles by 2020.
It has risen from a fifth in 2014 to 30 per cent this year, but Carney said: "Addressing the disparity in gender representation at senior levels will take time, but it will help close the current gender pay gap at the Bank."
The bank is undertaking a range of measures to help the bank address diversity imbalances as part of its inclusion strategy, including preparing diverse shortlists and interview panels, offering flexible working and providing ongoing unconscious bias training.