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Gender pay gap widens at UK investment management firms

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The industries in the UK with the widest disparities in how much women make compared with men are making modest progress on closing their pay gaps - with one notable exception.

[LONDON] The industries in the UK with the widest disparities in how much women make compared with men are making modest progress on closing their pay gaps - with one notable exception.

Women who work as investment managers make, on average, 31 per cent less than men, an increase of 0.8 per cent since the government started collecting data in 2017, finds a report out on Wednesday by PwC. Only banking has a wider pay gap, where women make 32 per cent less than men, but that figure has decreased by around 1 per cent compared with two years ago.

Like most industries with wide gaps, women who work in investment management cluster in the lowest paying jobs. Women only make up 23.2 per cent of the upper quartile of the pay scale, the smallest fraction in any of the industries PwC evaluated. In banking and insurance, women hold more than a quarter of the highest paying jobs.

"Young women are discouraged from even considering a career in fund management when they see our wide gender pay gaps and learn that just 4 per cent of money managed in the UK is run exclusively by women," Helena Morrissey, chair of the Diversity Project and head of personal investing at Legal & General Investment Management, one of Britain's largest fund management groups said in a statement.

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Last year Legal & General, under Ms Morrissey, launched the Future World Girl Fund, which favours companies that have achieved higher levels of gender diversity. The group has also voted against all-male boards of publicly listed companies since 2015, Clare Payn, head of corporate governance for North America has said.

The report notes that investment management sees little turnover among senior fund managers because clients and consultants prefer the stability.

"They admit that they like stability in their fund management team, but on the other hand they also want diversity," writes Jane Welsh a consultant at the Diversity Project who worked on the report. "They can't have both."

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