Schroders becomes first FTSE 100 firm to reveal Gender Pay Gap figures

The news came as research revealed that a significant minority of UK organisations do not consider pay discrepancies between men and women to be a problem.

Schroders has become the first FTSE 100 company to publish its gender pay gap data as pressure mounts on the financial services sector to tackle discrepancies between how much men and women earn.

In its latest annual report, the asset management firm revealed that the salaries of its female employees were on average 33% lower than their male colleagues. Bonuses for female staff were also on average 66% less than for males.

But the company told the Financial Times that the figures “may be misleading” as men account for 71% of senior personnel, which means that they are more likely to be in higher paying roles.

It said: “Our analysis of comparable roles shows we reward men and women fairly for similar work and that the gap reflects the lower representation of women at senior levels within the organisation.”

The company, which employs 4,020 staff, is aiming for at least 33% of its senior employees to be women by 2019 compared with 29% now.

Virgin Money, a FTSE 250-listed firm, also revealed earlier this month that its female staff earn an average of 36% less than their male counterparts. It also attributed the situation to the fact that women are underrepresented in senior positions.

From 6 April this year, all organisations with more than 250 employees will be required by law to release gender pay gap figures for public scrutiny. UK government research published last year showed that the biggest discrepancies were found in the financial services and construction industries. The average across the country is 13.9%, according to the Fawcett Society, a women’s rights charity.

Interestingly, meanwhile, a survey among 250 senior UK decision-makers who will be affected by the new reporting regulations found that a significant minority do not consider the gender pay gap to be an issue.

The study conducted by HR and payroll software and services provider NGA Human Resources showed that 35% of men and 22% of women did not believe it was a problem. Of those that thought it was, 40% were concerned that revealing a pay gap could generate bad publicity, 34% were afraid it would damage their brand and 33% said it created recruitment barriers.

A significant proportion also blamed women for creating the situation, citing career breaks (49%) and part-time working (42%) as the key causes. A fifth of those questioned admitted they were not ready to cope with the legislation.