Finance’s Gender Gap Widens as Female Applicants to Top Jobs Dip

Women made up only a fifth of job applications to senior manager roles in the U.K. finance sector, highlighting sluggish progress on efforts to make the industry more diverse.

A review of 4,044 individuals who applied to senior roles at firms including banks, insurers, fund managers, hedge funds and private equity in the year through March shows that 833 were women and 3,211 were men, according to law firm Pinsent Masons. The previous year women represented 26% of applicants across a smaller set of firms.

Finance’s Gender Gap Widens as Female Applicants to Top Jobs Dip

The data underscores the finance sector’s longstanding and persistent gender gap. Recent legislation in the U.K. requiring big companies to disclose pay data has drawn further attention to the issue. One reason often cited for the lack of progress is that women, who are oftentimes the primary caregiver, favor flexibility. The coronavirus pandemic has seen thousands of City of London employees work from home for months boosting the case for diversity advocates.

“Women will be hoping that City employers are going to be much more receptive to flexible working requests and this won’t be used as an excuse for the low levels of women at senior levels,” said Elizabeth Budd, partner at Pinsent Masons.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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