A new study has revealed that gender equality is lacking at Europe’s top 50 banks, with women paid less than male colleagues in 80 per cent of companies.
Only five of Europe’s 50 largest banks have female chief executives while women take up just 19 per cent of executive board positions according to data from Boston Consulting Group. Three quarters of the largest banks have a wide pay gap with women in executive positions earning less than male colleagues.
Claudia Rasper, a partner at Boston Consulting Group and co-author of the report said: “It’s clear to see that the representation of females in the European banking sector is still far from equal. Having women in leadership positions is the basis for fostering the full potential of a diverse workforce, which is essential for tackling the many challenges the banking sector faces.
“Representation of women is vital for making sure the perspective of women is sufficiently incorporated when designing diversity programs and choosing the right focus. Without these successful diversity programmes, banks will not be able to attract and retain enough female talent,” Rasper continued.
The survey also revealed that women who work in financial services perceive discrimination and career obstacles to be higher compared to other industries. While 27 per cent of women have faced at least one incident of discrimination in the workplace in financial services the figure rises to 33 per cent.
Norway’s DNB ranked highest amongst Europe’s largest banks for balanced representation and equal remuneration. Two UK based banks, HSBC and Virgin Money, ranked amongst the top ten.
A spokesperson for HSBC said: “we are pleased that we are making good progress on gender equality and are committed to improve gender representation across all levels of the bank to contribute to an even more dynamic and inclusive culture.”
Commenting on the data a spokesperson for Virgin Money said “inclusion is at the heart of our culture.
“We want to build a workforce that represents the communities we serve, and create an environment in which all colleagues can thrive. It’s positive to be near the top but we have more to do,” the spokesperson added.