Industry Surveys

Investors Willing To Ditch Firms With Gender Gaps - Survey

Robbie Lawther Reporter London 29 March 2018

Investors Willing To Ditch Firms With Gender Gaps - Survey

A finance website aimed at women called SavvyWomen surveyed 2,005 UK adults on whether the gender pay gap would affect their decision to stick or twist with a financial provider.

As banks continue to report huge gender pay gaps in their UK operations, new research has found that four in ten (46 per cent) UK adults surveyed who use an investment company are likely to switch their provider if the institution had large differences in pay.

The research was carried out by Opinium Research for SavvyWoman, a finance website aimed at women. Opinium surveyed 2,005 UK adults on whether the gender pay gap would affect their decision to stick or twist with a financial provider. This study comes at a time where the financial services sector has been rocked by the staggering difference in average pay between men and women, as around 50 global financial institutions have been told to report on the pay and composition of its UK staff to the government by 5 April.

Just over four in ten (44 per cent) adults who have a bank account are likely to switch their bank, and 46 per cent of adults who use an insurer are likely to switch their insurance company because of the pay gap.

Gender Differences
The study has also found that women (51 per cent) are more likely than men (37 per cent) to consider switching banks if it had a large pay difference between the sexes.

Also, over half (52 per cent) of women who use an insurer are likely to switch their insurance company, compared to 39 per cent of men. And around 55 per cent of women who use an investment company are likely to switch their provider, compared to 39 per cent of men.

“Some banks have got a gender pay gap of over 40 per cent - even up to 60 per cent depending on how you measure it,” said Sarah Pennells, founder of SavvyWoman. “It’s only now that banks, insurers and investment companies are being forced to go public on this that we can see just how male dominated they are at the top. The gender pay gap doesn’t seem to have been a priority for these companies until now. And while many financial firms have produced slick reports showing how they’re tackling the issue, I think they’ll get the message loud and clear if their customers switch to providers with a smaller gender pay gap.”

Pennells added: “We know that millions of people stick with their banks and insurers when they’re not happy with them. Perhaps a large gender pay gap could tip the balance? Some companies have a much bigger gender pay gap than others, so don’t assume they’re all as bad as each other, and some seem to be taking the issue more seriously in terms of what they’re going to do about it.” 

Close the Gap
This publication recently reported that Credit Suisse had revealed that female staff earned 29 per cent less than men in 2017 when measured on a median hourly basis. The bank’s median pay gap was smaller compared to those of other banking institutions’ operations in the UK – including JP Morgan (54 per cent), Schroders (44.8 per cent), Barclays (43.5 per cent) and Lloyds Bank (42.7 per cent).

There has been a real effort for firms to improve the working environment for women. Earlier this month, this publication reported that a flurry of financial services firms had signed up to the Women in Finance Charter. More than 200 firms have now signed the Charter and over 650,000 employees in the UK are covered by its plan to tackle gender inequality in financial services.

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