Patricia Arquette Says Hollywood Pays Men More: Equality Summit

(Bloomberg) -- Two of the most senior women in European finance took aim at the gender pay gap in their industry, calling it an embarrassment and raising the idea of using quotas to help women reach senior positions. Meanwhile, actor Patricia Arquette said the pay gap still favors men in Hollywood.

Rachel Lord, who heads BlackRock Inc. operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and Ana Botin, executive chairman of Banco Santander SA, spoke out at Bloomberg’s Equality Summit in London.

Leaders from business, government, activism and entertainment are at the event to discuss the next steps for diversity advocates.

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Hollywood’s Gender Pay Problem (4:50 p.m.)

During her 2015 Oscar acceptance speech, Patricia Arquette called for equal pay, but the actor says it still isn’t happening in Hollywood. The acclaimed and award-winning TV series "Escape at Dannemora" almost fell apart because a male actor dropped out, even though Arquette was the lead. "It didn’t matter that I was the lead and it didn’t matter that I’d won an Oscar." Arquette says she has walked away from jobs over equal pay, but "internalized it as normal," she says. "I always felt: I am so lucky, I’m an actor, I’m living the dream."

Facebook Uses AI in Diversity Push (4:35 p.m.)

People living with disabilities face daily challenges, but its an issue rarely brought up in public debates about diversity and inclusion. Facebook is using artificial intelligence to help people with visual impairment share images by enabling them to identify what there is in the picture. The company first launched its alt text -- a descriptive text of an image and context -- for photo uploads in 2016. “We want to make sure that there are no restrictions on how our users enjoy the platform," Nicola Mendelsohn, vice president of Facebook in the EMEA region, says.

Must Start Young to Achieve Diversity (3:21 p.m.)

Ann Cairns, vice chair at Mastercard Inc., spoke earlier with Bloomberg TV about how the company is trying to get girls aged 12-14 interested in so-called STEM -- Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics -- careers.

Gillette’s Coombe: Men Must ‘Stand Up’ (2:40 p.m.)

Despite the small -- but vocal -- backlash Gillette got for its ‘The Best Men Can Be’ ad, Gary Coombe, the president of global grooming at Procter & Gamble Co., says the brand benefited from taking a stand. The ad was viewed 110 million times and drew 15 billion media impressions, prompting a global conversation on masculinity. "We could have taken the film off YouTube or disabled the comments. And I’m glad we didn’t," he said. "Men have to stand up and proactively move the conversation forward."

While consumers respect brands that speak out on social issues, that doesn’t always translate into sales. Dick’s Sporting Goods has suffered $150 million in losses since restricting gun sales at U.S. stores after a mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida.

Insurance Industry Lags Behind (2:05 p.m.)

There’s an appalling lack of diversity in gender and ethnicity in certain parts of the insurance industry, particularly in London’s commercial market, says Nicolas Aubert, the head of Great Britain at consultant Willis Towers Watson. Our own Gavin Finch has written about some of the behavior women employed at Lloyd’s of London have faced.

Ana Botin: ‘Quotas Have Merits’ (1:45 p.m.)

At Banco Santander SA, Executive Chairman Ana Botin faces a gender pay gap of 30% due to a lack of women in senior roles. So, when it comes to increasing diversity, Botin sees merit in quotas -- but remains unsure if they should be introduced. Santander has pledged to increase the share of women in management to 30% by 2025, she says.

“I think women, we’ve had real discrimination for many years, so even if we go to the other side for a while it’s not a bad thing.”

Women struggle to rise because they do more at home, Botin says, pointing out that her bank offered both men and women equal parental leave and flexible schedules. “But men didn’t take it,” she says. “Men usually want to arrive home late so that women have already done the housework and cooked the children’s meals.”

The Power of Shaming (12:30 p.m.)

Gender pay-gap reporting is a wake-up call for business leaders, says Rachel Lord, BlackRock Inc.’s head of Europe, Middle East and Africa. No CEO wants to wake up to a story about how they pay women 31% less than men, she says.

“It is hideously embarrassing for a CEO to see that data, however raw it is, however unadjusted or uncontextualized,” Lord tells a panel on diversity in banking and finance.

“I haven’t spoken to any CEO of any public company who hasn’t been embarrassed by their data, even though they know the reasons behind it which are often more nuanced. It’s really helpful.”

What the FTSE 100 Gender Pay Gap Shows (12:00 p.m.)

Bloomberg’s Annmarie Hordern has been looking at what the gender pay gap means for major companies. The Bloomberg Gender Equality Index is outperforming the MSCI All-Country World Index and is up 13% so far this year.

The Next Step for Pay Reporting (11:05 a.m.)

Companies need to prepare for the possibility of pay disclosure rules being expanded to cover ethnicity after a government consultation on the idea, says Sandra Kerr, race equality director at Business in the Community.

“If was an employer, I would be focused right now on getting my employees thinking about how do we ensure the self-disclosure rates are good. I would be ensuring that I’m capturing the ethnicity data. It was a consultation on mandatory reporting -- it wasn’t should we do it. So I think we should expect something coming out to say here’s the date and the timeline and get moving.”

Can Britain Unite in the Age of Brexit? (10:20 a.m.)

Since the Brexit vote in 2016, traditional notions of left- or right-wing have given way to blocs of “remainers” versus “leavers” in the U.K. That makes debating ideas and opinions harder than ever, says Gina Miller, anti-Brexit campaigner and co-founder of SCM Direct.

“In London we still don’t get it. When you travel down a street in Wales and other areas and talk to people, they see us as a different country, they don’t identify with London,” she says.

Patricia Arquette Says Hollywood Pays Men More: Equality Summit

Where is this split driving the U.K.? The narrative of unity is important, but there hasn’t been enough discussion of what to unite around, according to Leah Kreitzman, London’s mayoral director for external and international affairs.

Words ‘Not Enough’ (09:45 a.m.)

An early theme at the Bloomberg Equality Summit is that while most companies already preach the business case for diversity, progress has been slow. Pay gaps remain wide, boards remain overwhelmingly white and male, and women remain under-represented in leadership.

"More words are not enough," said Jasmine Whitbread, a non-executive director at lender Standard Chartered Plc. "What’s needed is action." Chantal Free of Willis Towers Watson Plc echoed this theme in her opening remarks as well.

Banks Poised for Grilling (8:30 a.m. Thursday)

The U.K.’s biggest banks face being summoned to explain why they are among the worst offenders in paying women less than men, according to Nicky Morgan, the Conservative member of Parliament who will chair hearings this summer into the finance industry’s alarming gender pay gap.

“We want to ask the witnesses some pretty searching questions, not just about the pay gap but about their plan for how this is going to be solved,” Morgan told Bloomberg’s David Hellier. The former U.K. Treasury minister will join a panel to discuss equality in banking and finance at 11:30 a.m.

Patricia Arquette Says Hollywood Pays Men More: Equality Summit

Soccer’s Pay Problem (6:17 p.m. Wednesday)

“I can’t think of an industry with a starker difference” in pay than soccer, said Kelly Simmons, director of the women’s professional game at the Football Association. The second year of U.K. gender pay gap reporting revealed that the clubs are far outside the mainstream when it comes to gender imbalance. “But it’s shifting massively,” Simmons said. “We’ve gone professional, brought in Barclays. We’ve moved massively from dodgy pitches with dog muck.”

Barclays signed a deal earlier this year to become the first title sponsor of the Women’s Super League, the “largest ever commercial investment in women’s sport in the U.K.” The three-year partnership was reported by the BBC to be worth more than 10 million pounds ($12.9 million) and starts next season.

Scotland: Progress Is Slow (5:38 p.m.)

Patricia Scotland, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, said that focusing rights on the equality of citizens makes it difficult to discriminate against people “be they male, female, able, disable, gay, straight, black, white, religious, non-religious.” Progress takes time and patience, she said. Scotland was the first woman to hold the post of U.K. Attorney General since it was created in 1315 and took on her current post in 2016.

Read More

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(An earlier version corrected the company name to Dick’s Sporting in Gillette item)

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