Comment Features

Shocking gender pay gap in City of London

Women living in the City of London earn a third less than men, according to the most recent statistics on wage inequality.

By Nora Redmond

A statue of a woman holding a banner which reads: Courage calls to courage everywhere
The Millicent Fawcett statue in Parliament Square. Photo: Floris de Bruin

Women living in the City of London earn a third less than men, according to the most recent statistics on wage inequality.

Annual data for the national gender pay gap in 2023 were released by the Office for National Statistics at the beginning of November.

The mean, full-time gender pay gap for the UK is 10.7 per cent, a decrease of less than two per cent compared to 2022.

Consequently, the Fawcett Society has confirmed that Equal Pay Day 2023 will fall on 22nd November, the day which marks when women in the UK stop being paid.

There is a gender pay disparity of 29.6 per cent for people who live in the City of London.

However, neighbouring boroughs Camden and Islington have wage gaps of 15.3 per cent and 8.7 per cent, respectively.

Dr Gloria Novovic, an LSE Fellow in the Department of Gender Studies, says the consequences of the City of London’s gender pay gap is exacerbated by city-level politics.

“In the current context of rising living costs, women are likely to be less resilient to the volatility of the rental market”, she cites as an example.

The City of London stands as one of the three boroughs where the gap between the pay of men and women is the widest, topped only by Kingston upon Thames and Richmond upon Thames.

Ms Priya Sahni Nicholas, Co-Executive Director of the Equality Trust, explained she was unsurprised to discover that Britain’s financial centre had a gender pay gap which is double the national figure.

She said: “Addressing all forms of pay inequality is crucial for achieving equality, rebalancing the economy and improving the lives of everyone in society – men, women and children – as part of a wider need to promote fairer pay and dismantle structural inequalities.”

The City of London is also far above the national average for people who work in the borough, with a gender pay gap of 24.9 per cent.

Comparably, the disparity between women and men who work in Camden is 6.3 per cent, and 15.4 per cent in Islington.

Ms Sian Berry, London Assembly Member and former Co-Leader of the Green Party, said the “huge” pay disparity in the borough “will affect women living right across London and the South East”.

“It is time for our big financial institutions to step up and fix this,” she added.

Banks with head offices in the City of London report disproportionately high gender pay gaps.

Goldman Sachs, based on Shoe Lane, announced a disparity of 53.2 per cent in 2022.

For the same year, the NatWest Group, whose London headquarters are on Bishopsgate, reported a gender pay gap of 32.3 per cent

Ms Sahni-Nicholas said the Equality Trust “urge the government to introduce mandatory action plans where companies set out time-limited and measurable targets to reducing their gender, ethnicity and disability pay gaps.”

The Equality Trust is seeking signatures for its petition to end gender, ethnicity, and disability pay gaps in the UK.

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