UK banks to face grilling over gender pay gaps


  • Business
  • Friday, 17 May 2019

LONDON: Gender pay reporting requirements rolled out in the UK in 2018 revealed that at most organisations, women earn a lot less than men – largely because they struggle to climb the corporate ladder. This year’s data showed little has changed, and even some backsliding.

But advocates for diversity say the transparency was a critical first step, and there’s a push to expand mandatory pay gap reporting to cover racial and ethnic pay gaps as well.

The UK’s biggest banks face being summoned to explain why they are among the worst offenders in paying women less than men, according to Nicky Morgan, the Conservative member of Parliament who will chair hearings this summer into the finance industry’s alarming gender pay gap.

“We want to ask the witnesses some pretty searching questions, not just about the pay gap but about their plan for how this is going to be solved,” Morgan told Bloomberg’s David Hellier.

“I can’t think of an industry with a starker difference” in pay than soccer, said Kelly Simmons, director of the women’s professional game at the Football Association.

The second year of UK gender pay gap reporting revealed that the clubs are far outside the mainstream when it comes to gender imbalance.

“But it’s shifting massively,” Simmons said. “We’ve gone professional, brought in Barclays. We’ve moved massively from dodgy pitches with dog muck.”

Barclays signed a deal earlier this year to become the first title sponsor of the Women’s Super League, the “largest ever commercial investment in women’s sport in the UK.”

The three-year partnership was reported by the BBC to be worth more than £10mil (US$12.9mil) and starts next season.

Patricia Scotland, secretary-general of the Commonwealth, said that focusing rights on the equality of citizens made it difficult to discriminate against people “be they male, female, able, disable, gay, straight, black, white, religious, non-religious.”

Progress took time and patience, she said. Scotland was the first woman to hold the post of UK Attorney General since it was created in 1315 and took on her current post in 2016. — Bloomberg


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