Pay for top female executives at the UK’s largest companies is still far behind their male counterparts, reveals new research published today.
Remuneration among female board directors at FTSE 350 financial services firms is 66 per cent lower than men, according to law firm Fox & Partners.
On average, female directors receive £235,000 compared to £689,000 for men.
Sluggish progress on promoting women to top board positions has kept the male/female remuneration gap wide.
Fox & Partners’ research indicates financial services firms are installing women at less senior board roles in a bid to boost their diversity credentials, but are reluctant to go further and give them top jobs.
Just nine per cent of females hold executive roles, down from 14 per cent last year.
“Progress has been made in relation to women in non-executive director roles, up 91 per cent from 86 per cent the previous year and whilst this increase is a positive step these roles typically tend to be part time and lower remunerated which likely impacts the pay gap,” the firm said.
Executive director roles tend to have a higher pay packet compared to more junior board positions.
Catriona Watt, a partner at Fox & Partners, said: “Financial services companies may be achieving their quotas, but the data indicates that they are not making sufficient change to close the gender pay gap.”
Low levels of female representation at top board level could expose financial services firms to equal pay and discrimination claims.
“Senior leaders in financial services need to question why it remains that few women are reaching the top level management positions,” Watt added
“Despite greater diversity at a junior level, firms are yet to see that shift in more senior and in particular, executive positions,” she said.
The gender pay gap for the UK as a whole is 7.9 per cent, according to the Office for National Statistics, illustrating the severe level of remuneration inequities among Britain’s top finance firms.