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Gender Pay Gap – The Results Are In and Compliance Breaks Through

Last week saw the deadline for the first Gender Pay Gap (GPG) reporting. The new UK legislation required employers with 250+ employees to disclose the pay gap between their male and female employees and the results have intensified dispute around this issue.

The Results

78% of companies have been found to pay men more with women being paid a median hourly rate of 9.7% less on average than their male colleagues. The financial services had the second highest pay gap with a median company pay gap of 22%.

Interestingly, even nine out of 10 of the Times Top 50 Employers for Women (2017) have revealed that on average they pay women less than men.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) were unable to take into account job demands so while this data does provide useful comparisons, it isn’t able to give validation that men and women are being paid the same for the same work as per the Equal Pay Act, 1970.

Lots of companies are citing having a higher number of males in senior roles skewing their average figures as a reason for their imbalance but this in itself highlights a key issue. It shows that there are more women in lower paid roles while males dominate the boardroom.

Compliance is Bucking the Trend

This got us thinking and we decided to do some research of our own. At the end of last year we reported that women were ‘leading the way in Compliance’ and despite the financial services’ shortcomings in these results, over 60 percent of our Compliance placements from AVP to Global MD continue to go to women.

Our position also gives us insight into salaries across the market and we pleased to report that there is very little disparity in pay between the sexes in Compliance, far from the 22% of the rest of the industry.

With inspirational women at the helm of major institutions such as Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, BlackRock and Barclays in Chief Compliance Officer roles, we are sure Compliance will continue to be a stronghold for equality.

A Global Perspective

With offices in London, New York, Hong Kong and Singapore, we can take a global perspective and are pleased to report that the high number of women in Compliance and equal pay extends beyond our borders.

In New York, they’re tackling the GPG with their Salary Disclosure Ban. This forces salaries to be based on the role alone and for women, protects them from any previous inequality or impact from taking time out to have a family. Many of our top clients in the US have had robust diversity programmes for a few years now and invite us, as the people responsible for recruiting their teams to attend ‘diversity awareness’ meetings which is something we wholeheartedly support.

Making a Difference

A company’s GPG has to be published on their own website as well as This widespread availability has led to difficult questions from employees, poses potential issues for future hiring and crucially can influence customer choice so it has been a real motivating force to see a greater change.

We’ve seen companies set targets, run programmes to attract female talent and take steps to ensure there is no bias in the recruitment process but the real challenge is ensuring women can remain in successful and balanced careers. We are supporting our clients who are having open discussions about the barriers to this and creating paths to an inclusive culture for everyone.

We’re seeing moves within banks towards more flexible working, job-shares and working from home already and we know the world is watching. Smart companies realise that equality in the workplace isn’t just about being fair. There are a huge number of talented women in the marketplace and studies have proven that diverse working groups are more successful to which there is a real commercial benefit.

We have a very clear view of the success that comes from matching the person to the right role and this is based purely on talent, experience and fit. If you would like support in strengthening your team with a recruitment specialist that has an unparalleled network of talent, please get in touch.

+44 (0) 20 7371 8332

Denis Spearman

Managing Director, Head of Compliance & Financial Crime, EMEA

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