Women's pay lags behind men's in City

WOMEN working in the UK&rsquo;s finance industry face the highest overall gender pay gap, according to a study out today by the Equality and Human Rights Commission <br /><br />In a stern warning to the City, the Commission&nbsp; has said that it may order financial firms to publish employment data and&nbsp; undertake annual equal pay audits to address the situation. It also recommends ensuring parental support schemes are in place.<br /><br />The report, which analysed pay data from 50 companies employing almost one-quarter of workers in the sector, revealed women working full-time in finance earned 55 per cent less gross salary than men, compared to 28 per cent for the rest of the economy. It added that women employees earn an average &pound;2,875 in annual performance related pay, compared to an average of &pound;14,554 for men.<br /><br />According to its findings, nearly all women taking up new jobs in these companies also still start on lower average salaries than men. <br /><br />And the study also shows that employees were more likely to hire women between the ages of 25-39, which could be a key factor in blocking women&rsquo;s success in the workplace.<br /><br />The commission has estimated that, at the current rate, it would take 73 years for the number of women to equal that of men at the top of Britain&rsquo;s biggest public companies.