“31% pay gap” in UK asset management

UK asset managers are being pushed to address the industry’s gender pay gap by the Investment Association (IA) in a report highlighting gender inequality and what firms can do in order to reduce it.

According to the report, the median gender pay gap stands at 31% among UK asset managers.

“Female representation in senior positions is a key driver of the gender pay gap,” the report states. Just one in ten UK asset managers have a female chair or chief executive, the sector’s trade body found after surveying 39 member firms.

Including fund managers such as Columbia Threadneedle and Hermes Investment Management, these groups account for 58% of the IA members’ £7.7 trillion UK managed assets.

Across all respondents, women make up 38% of the employee base.  Admin and HR roles have a much higher female representation compared to other business functions, with 91% and 75% respectively.

The report highlighted that it is unclear “whether the gender pay gap arises because women are overrepresented in functions with lower earnings or whether the functions that pay lower salaries do so because they have historically had overrepresentation by women.”

Part-time employment accounts for only 15% of the male workforce and 42% of the female workforce, the report also found.

The IA has highlighted a number of initiatives to reduce the gender gap in the UK asset management sector after the issue was brought to light following new disclosure rules coming into force last year.

These measures include additional leave for new parents, female recruitment days, women’s networks, and unconscious bias interview training.

From the start of 2019, the IA began to issue warnings to investors of companies not on track to meet targets set by the Hampton-Alexander review for 33% of board members to be women by 2020. The independent review was appointed by the government with the aim of increasing female representation in senior positions in FTSE350 firms.

According to the IA’s chief executive, Chris Cummings, in 2018 the trade body highlighted 11 FTSE250 companies with all-male boards, ten of which have since appointed “at least one woman.”

Both the IA and the Hampton-Alexander review continue to draw attention to FTSE firms with one or no women on their boards, but as Cummings points out “this is only the beginning of the journey.”

©2019 funds europe

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