The UK banking group has revealed its female investment bankers are being paid almost half that of their male colleagues.

By Joe McDonough

Posted on February 23, 2018

Two years ago, Barclays was the first bank in the world to sign up for the HeForShe’s initiative, a UN movement pushing for a more gender-equal corporate landscape.

At that time, 51% of its then 130,000-strong global workforce was female.

But it seems that rather than building on that momentum, the world’s 20th largest bank has gone backwards.

By law, companies in the UK with 250 employees or more must now report their gender pay gaps annually, and Barclays figures show its percentage of female employees has plummeted to just 44%, and worse, there is a huge disparity between what the men and women in the company earn in all three divisions of the banking group.

For basic pay excluding bonuses there was a median hourly gap of 43.5% at Barclays International, which includes the investment banking business. And in the UK high street bank the gap was 14.2%.

It’s far more concerning, too, when you throw in the imbalance in bonuses. At the international division men make an average of 73% more in extras, while the gap is nearly 50% in high street business bonuses.

As The Guardian illustrates, the 73% difference means that for every £100,000 of bonuses handed out to men working at Barclays International, women only receive £27,000.

Barclays group service, including operations and technology, also has a reported salary gap close to 30%, and a bonus pay gap of 24%.

Chair of the UK parliament’s Treasury Committee, Nicky Morgan, called it “shocking”.

“On average, women at Barclays International are paid half as much as men. For this to be the case in 2018 is shocking,” she said.

Morgan commented on Barclays commitment to supporting the progression of women into senior roles, by signing up for the Women in Finance Charter.

As she says, more women in senior roles is a sure fire way to close the gap.

But is it just an empty promise? Of its 555 senior managers, more than two thirds are men, and only the firm’s interim chief compliance officer Laura Padovani currently sits on its nine-member executive committee.

“We know that we have more to do to continue accelerating the progression of women into these more senior roles,” Barclays said in a statement.

“We recognise that tackling the gender pay gap will take time and therefore it is key that we remain focussed on improving gender diversity through a workplace environment and culture that supports and empowers women.”

Barclays has been one of the first companies to disclose its pay gap. Other big banks like HSBC, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase still have until April 4 to publish their numbers.