Harriet Harman, the minister for Women, has renewed her attack on the financial industry, describing it as a "breeding ground for discrimination", after it emerged that women working in the City were being paid as much as 60 per cent less than their male counterparts.
Men in the sector are also receiving nearly 80 per cent more in perks and bonuses, according to figures from the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC). Overall, women working in the financial services sector are paid more than £40,000 less each year, about twice the disparity that exists in the economy as a whole. Female fund managers, stock brokers and futures traders were found to be suffering from the biggest pay gap of about 60 per cent.
A dearth of women working in head offices, a relative lack of qualifications and their continuing domination of lower status roles were to blame, the research found. "This proves that the finance sector is a breeding ground for discrimination and unfairness and I look forward to the Commission's proposals for action," Ms Harman said. "This is further evidence of the need for the tough new measures to tackle the gender pay gap." Trevor Phillips, the head of the EHRC, said the Government should force more companies to reveal their pay policies. "The figures we're releasing today are shocking and indicate just how serious the pay gap has become in the financial sector," he said. "Women do not have equal status or equal rewards."