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At U.K. Investment Management Firms, Gender Pay Gap Widens

David Hellier

(Bloomberg) -- The industries in the U.K. with the widest disparities in how much women make compared with men are making modest progress on closing their pay gaps -- with one notable exception.

Women who work as investment managers make, on average, 31% less than men, an increase of 0.8% since the government started collecting data in 2017, finds a report out Wednesday by PwC. Only banking has a wider pay gap, where women make 32% less than men, but that figure has decreased by around 1% compared with two years ago.

Like most industries with wide gaps, women who work in investment management cluster in the lowest paying jobs. Women only make up 23.2% of the upper quartile of the pay scale, the smallest fraction in any of the industries PwC evaluated. In banking and insurance, women hold more than a quarter of the highest paying jobs.

“Young women are discouraged from even considering a career in fund management when they see our wide gender pay gaps and learn that just 4% of money managed in the U.K. is run exclusively by women,” Dame Helena Morrissey, chair of the Diversity Project and head of personal investing at Legal & General Investment Management, one of Britain’s largest fund management groups said in a statement.

Last year Legal & General, under Morrissey, launched the Future World GIRL Fund, which favors companies that have achieved higher levels of gender diversity. The group has also voted against all-male boards of publicly listed companies since 2015, Clare Payn, head of corporate governance for North America has said.

The report notes that investment management sees little turnover among senior fund managers because clients and consultants prefer the stability. “They admit that they like stability in their fund management team, but on the other hand they also want diversity,” writes Jane Welsh a consultant at the Diversity Project who worked on the report. “They can’t have both.”

To contact the reporter on this story: David Hellier in London at dhellier@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Aaron Kirchfeld at akirchfeld@bloomberg.net, Rebecca Greenfield, Janet Paskin

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