Male employees at the Bank of England are paid almost a quarter more than their female colleagues, according to its first gender pay gap report.
The gap between what male and female Bank workers earn – based on median hourly earnings – was 24.2% as at 30 March.
For bonuses paid in the year to March, the gap was 25.6%. Bonuses are paid to employees at all levels, excluding the governor Mark Carney and his deputies, where performance objectives have been met.
Carney said the Bank’s gender pay gap was created because there were more men than women in the top jobs at Threadneedle Street.
“We’re confident that men and women are paid equally for doing the same job at the Bank; however, the greater proportion of men than women in senior roles creates a gender pay gap,” Carney said.
“We are working hard to address this imbalance through inclusive and diverse recruitment, including diverse shortlists and interview panels, offering flexible working, providing continual unconscious bias training, and fostering an inclusive culture. Addressing the disparity in gender representation at senior levels will take time, but it will help close the current gender pay gap at the Bank.”
The latest official figures show Britain’s gender pay gap fell to 9.1% in April, from 9.4% a year earlier, taking it to the lowest level since records began 20 years ago. It was 17.4% in 1997, when the Office for National Statistics first collected the data.
The pay gap in the broader financial services sector is sharply higher than the national average, at above 30%.
Last month, MPs on the Treasury select committee said they were concerned about a lack of diversity among the Bank’s most senior staff. Of the nine members of the Bank’s interest-rate setting Monetary Policy Committee, for example, only one is a woman.
Responding to the Bank’s pay gap report, Nicky Morgan, chair of the Treasury select committee, said more progress was needed.
“The Bank’s measures to address its pay gap seem to be on the right track, but we cannot be complacent. Any gap is still too great.”
By April next year, all UK firms and public sector organisations with 250 or more employees will have to report the gap between what they pay their male and female staff. Morgan said the Treasury committee would be monitoring the matter closely as part of its women in finance inquiry.
“We may call for organisations to give evidence to the committee to hear about best practice. Financial firms should be prepared to explain any gender pay gap that they may have,” she said.