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Well, no, not really

Female directors at the UK’s largest financial services firms earn on average two-thirds less than their male counterparts, new research shows, underlining the pay gap that still exists between men and women at the highest levels in the financial sector.

It doesn’t show anything of the kind. It shows the different jobs being done:

The significant gender pay gap at firms listed on the FTSE 100 and 250 stock indices suggests there has been slow progress in recruiting women to more senior, higher-paid executive positions.

The vast majority (86%) of the female company directors occupy non-executive roles, according to the research, which tend to be lower paid than executive positions, and involve less day-to-day responsibility for running the business.

Different jobs get paid different amounts. Shock, horror.

What has really happened is that the much shouting about putting women on boards has led to a few HR power skirts being made non-execs. So, what did anyone think would happen?

11 thoughts on “Well, no, not really”

  1. I do dislike the contorted “x times less” construction which forces readers into mental gymnastics if they want to understand what is actually being said. So much clearer to say “earn only a third”.

  2. I wonder what % of executive directors are women once you eliminate HR, sustainability and diversity/inclusion roles?

  3. If they’re *EARNING* less it’s ‘cos they’re *DOING* less. That’s what “earn” means.

    If they’re complaining that they’re *PAID* less, take it to court.

  4. The title of director would seem to imply executive responsibility, but I suppose like with banks where it seems the tellers are all at least associate vice-presidents, it apparently doesn’t mean much..

  5. An executive director should be working full-time, a non-executive director only a few hours per month. So there is no doubt that female directors (mostly non-executives) earn less.
    In fact, they are probably being overpaid if female directors are paid, on average one-third as much as the average pay for male directors.

  6. Non-execs working a few hours a month? Lol. I was approached for one requiring 25 days/yr. That’s what we ask of ours for time commitment as well.

    As for proportion female in my firm:-
    Directors/on executive committee (but not legal directors) we have 2 out of 40 not in HR. HR have 4.
    Exec committee 0 of 7, HR have 1
    Non-execs 3 of 9 inc chair. 1 of these women is scary brilliant, one is quite good, the other ok. Roughly same ratio of capability as the men.

  7. 25 days/yr ~= 2 days/month, or 16-20 hrs/month assuming a standard working day. It’s not that far removed from “a few hours a month”.

  8. “25 days a year”… Equates to two board meetings a month and showing your face at the AGM. Not exactly onerous, as BiW suggests.

  9. It’s curious that there are two claims about averages that have been discussed here in the last 24 hours:

    1. Averages hide wealth inequality and therefore can’t be trusted.
    2. Averages show income inequality and something must be done.

    Neat how the value of averages depends on whether they support or refute one’s case!

  10. @BiW etc. Dunno. I looked it in the context of doing my current more than full time job. As a sinecure to keep yourself busy, like a hobby, its great. It’s not a job though unless you have several. The (female) chair of a bank’s risk committee I met at an event said it was effectively a near full time job to do properly. Maybe it’s a finance vs commercial split? Or more likely regulated vs lightly regulated vs unregulated split. The more regulated the more work as the regulations place lots of responsibilities on top of the companies act ones.

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