MPs urge banks to end ‘alpha male culture’ to close gender pay gap

Culture Desk :

‘Alpha male culture’ was the main reason women gave for not wanting to work in the financial sector. Photograph: Philip Toscano/PA

MPs have called on Britain’s banks and other financial firms to tackle their “alpha male culture”, in a parliamentary report that recommends measures to close the City’s gender pay gap including clearer criteria for awarding bonuses and senior male executives taking up flexible working.

The Treasury committee’s report follows its invce,estigation into women in finan and found the alpha male culture was the main reason women gave for not wanting to work in senior management at City firms.

This culture was particularly evident in bonus negotiations, in which men can receive bigger rewards by arguing more forcefully, the report said.

The report cited a “pyramid” model at financial firms, where the proportion of women to men dwindles at the upper levels of management.

It comes two months after the deadline for all UK companies with more than 250 employees to report their gender pay gap. This revealed banks are among companies with the biggest pay gaps in the UK, with Barclays’ investment banking arm reporting a 43.5% median gap in favour of men and a 73% gap for bonuses. The national average median pay gap is 18.4%.

The Women in Finance report found that the median bonus pay gap is 49% in favour of men at UK banks, and 38% at building societies. The bonus gap is 43.5% overall, meaning that for every £100,000 of bonuses handed out to men, women are only getting £56,500. The gender pay gap per hour in finance is 28%.

“The benefits of gender diversity are highlighted in the report, including better financial performance, reduced groupthink and more open discussions,” said Nicky Morgan, the Conservative MP and Treasury select committee chair.


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