The gap, despite being 15% lower than the previous year, still remains significant compared to other industries around the UK.
Female staff at one of HSBC units in the UK are handed bonuses that are nearly 70% less than their male counterparts, but that still reflects a significant improvement compared to last year.
According to the latest gender pay gap report published by the British lender this week, the shortfall between the discretionary payouts to female staff narrowing from around 85% in 2018.
For gender pay gap, a 55% difference is remarked between male and female staff against 61% a year ago.
In recent years, there has been increasing concern towards the stark differences between female and male workers in the financial services as the significant pay disparity is in the limelight.
British lawmakers held a discussion this week with representatives of the industry, including HSBC’s group head of human of resources, Elaine Arden, to quiz them on their progress in improving conditions for women working in the sector.
Arden said the bank offered sabbatical leave and flexible working to support staff to be parents or carers, as part of its efforts to recruit and promote women.
The pay gap figures are calculated as the difference between men’s and women’s average hourly wages. Firms are required to publish the difference between the highest-paid and average employees in their annual reports from 2020.
In the UK, it is mandatory for companies with more than 250 employees to report their gender pay gap figures.
This week, HSBC appointed three women to its global markets division executive committee in London. The committee had no female members previously.
HSBC is Europe’s biggest lender and employs about 235,000 staff around the world.
Financial sector has one of the worst gender pay gap compared to any UK industry.
According the figures released by Consultancy.uk in February, the largest median pay gaps of all were meanwhile found in construction, financial and insurance, and mining sectors.
Historically, these sectors are known for their low engagement with women, and reinforcing the that a culture of gender discrimination also presents in white-collar industries.
For women who work in finance, a sector has traditionally been made of the ‘boys club’ culture, they have been struggling with workplace equality including gender disparity and sexual harassment to name a few.
As a result, the financial sector holds the unenviable title of the least equitable for its mean pay gap of 26.8%.
With the aim to advocate workplace diversity and inclusion, the British government also conducted ethnicity pay gap reporting, which ended in January.
As the government is putting efforts in narrowing the gender disparity gap, the employers should also do their part in submitting the data to reflect their collaborative efforts.
Fiona Hathorn, Managing Director Women on Boards UK added:
“Greater transparency will have significant implications for employers who in time may find it increasingly difficult to attract the best talent, win new business and appeal to investors who are focusing ever more on the social impact credentials of the companies they invest in. Now is the time for management to communicate the quantifiable steps they are taking to make a positive and sustainable change.”