Women in finance paid less than men, finds MSCI

Asset managers and other financial firms tend to recruit higher amounts of women than men – but senior management is top heavy with men, research shows.

An MSCI survey, which included assets manager Aberdeen Asset Management and BlackRock, found the workforce in 91 financial services companies was predominantly skewed towards women employees, except at senior levels.

More than 60% of financial companies in the study had a greater proportion of women in their overall workforce than the actual proportion of female talent in the workforces of the countries and markets the firms operated in, MSCI found. This means there was skewing towards women employees.

But at senior level the imbalance was reversed: 95% of companies in the sample had fewer women in senior positions than was available in the pool of high-skilled female talent.

Of the 91 firms researched, nearly a quarter was classed as ‘capital markets’ firms – which included asset mangers – and the rest were banks.

At senior management levels, companies that either matched their talent pool or skewed toward female talent had, on average, a 43% lower compensation cost per employee than companies skewed toward men in senior management in 2016.

MSCI’s ‘Women in finance’ report said the results “lend support to conventional wisdom that women are typically paid less than men”.

Aberdeen had 35% of women in senior management roles and BlackRock had 19%.

Both firms had higher amounts of women in their broader workforce: 46% and 39%, respectively.

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