2023 gender pay gap report: finance sector

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Published: 25 June 2024 | by Brightmine

For years now, the UK has published gender pay gap data across various industries and sectors through the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE). Through this exercise of transparency, business leaders and employees have come to understand the persistent nature of the pay gap and its impact on both employees and organisations.

Despite significant progress in promoting gender equality, the 2023 ASHE data shows that women continue to face serious challenges when it comes to pay equity. Their challenges only increase in the finance sector.

In this report we cover key findings related to the gender pay gap in the finance sector of the UK, including statistical data on median salaries, bonuses and representation at different levels.

Key findings for the 2023 gender pay gap report

The Brightmine 2023 UK gender pay gap analysis finds that both the gender pay and bonus gaps had decreased slightly in 2023, compared with 2022. Across the board, very little progress has been made as organisations steadily work to decrease the gaps for both pay and bonuses.

Year-on-year median change for gender pay gap metrics

2023 gender pay gap report visual of the median gender pay gap (9.1%, down 0.1%).
2023 gender pay gap report visual of the median gender bonus gap (14.1%, down 1%).

(n=10, 410; as reported April 2024)

The finance sector recorded one of the highest median gender pay gaps – second only to the construction sector. In total, 94.8% of organisations in the finance sector reported a median pay gap in favour of men (compared with 86.3% across all industries).

The median gender bonus gap was the highest recorded across all industry groups, and higher than recorded in 2022. Almost half (47.3%) of all organisations reported a median bonus gap in favour of men – but within the finance sector, this jumped to 85.3%. When it comes to the payment of bonuses though, the finance sector reported that a median 85% of both the male and female populations were paid a bonus, showing there is little to separate them in terms of the likelihood of receiving a payment.

Percentage of organisations reporting a pay gap in favour of men

2023 gender pay gap report graph of the percentage of organisations reporting pay gaps in favour of men in all industries (86.3%) and in the finance sector (94.8%).
2023 gender pay gap report visual of the median gender pay gap in the finance sector (22%, down 0.7%).
2023 gender pay gap report visual of the median gender bonus gap in the finance sector (35.4%, down 0.4%).

Female representation in the earnings distribution

Women make up more than half (57.1%) of the population in the lowest quartile of earners in the finance sector, around the same proportion as across the whole economy (56.7%).

However, as we move up the earnings distribution, the proportion of females in the finance sector in each quartile reduces, with just 30% representation in the top earning quartile, considerably below the proportion across all employers.

Proportion of the top pay quartile that are female

2023 gender pay gap report visual of the female representation in the top pay quartile (40%, up 0.5%).
2023 gender pay gap report visual of the female representation in the top pay quartile in the finance sector (30%, up 0.1%).

Salary levels in financial services

The Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings gives us an indication of what these gaps look like in practice. The annual salary for full-time male employees in the finance sector is almost £13,000 more than the annual salary for females. However, female employees have seen much higher salary growth over the past year

Median annual salary, finance sector

2023 gender pay gap report graph of the median annual salary in the finance sector for full-time males (£53,434, up 4.3%) and females (£40,526, up 11.6%).

About the data

The 2023 gender pay gap data used in this analysis was extracted from the Government gender pay gap service at 9 a.m. on 5 April 2024. Unless otherwise stated, changes year-on-year are not based on a matched sample. Industries have been assigned based on the standard Brightmine industry classification system. The salary data is taken from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings 2023.