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Women make up just one quarter of the over £73,000 salary club

Women continue to be dramatically under-represented among professionals with the highest salaries and over-represented among the lowest paid, new research by business diversity specialist INvolve, in conjunction with HR Data Hub, reveals.

An analysis of 250,000 professionals found that 77% of people with salaries over £73,000 are men, whilst women make up the majority (56%) of those professionals who are in the lowest pay bracket of up to £17,000.

The news comes as INvolve releases its annual HERoes Women Role Model Lists, supported by Yahoo Finance, which celebrate businesspeople playing a key role in breaking down barriers at work for women and using their positions to keep diversity and inclusion at the top of the agenda.

The research also found that women have spent longer in each role at the lower end of the pay scale, but as they become more senior, this dramatically reduces. For instance, a woman has spent an average of 10 years on a salary of £21,000, compared to a man’s eight years, but has only spent five years at a salary of £165,000, compared with a man’s eight years.

Other key findings include that only one in five people earning over £165,000 is a woman and the fortunate section of the sample group on salaries of £400,000 was exclusively male.

“Despite the many initiatives to address gender inequality, it’s clear that there is still a shocking lack of women in senior positions which continues to drive a significant gender pay gap,” says INvolve’s founder and CEO, Suki Sandhu OBE, who was awarded his OBE in 2019 for services to diversity in business.

“With the delays to reporting on the gender pay gap this year, coupled with the negative impact of Covid-19 on pay equality, it’s vital that we continue to push for change. That’s why it’s more important than ever that we celebrate those who are taking action globally to drive inclusion for women, and that’s why the HERoes Women Role Model Lists are so important.

“We’re delighted to be celebrating another fantastic group of people from across the world who are collectively driving cultural change and creating workplaces where women have an opportunity to succeed and be recognised as equal to men.”

High flying professionals from 26 countries, including the UK, made this year’s HERoes Role Model Lists – more than any in previous years.

Dr Jennifer R Jackson, president of Capital One Canada, heads the 100 Women Executives List while JiHye Bae, head of credit cards for Standard Chartered Korea (SCBK) tops the Future Leaders list.

Four British women are in the Top Ten of Women Executives Role Models, with the executive vice chairman of Mastercard, Ann Cairns, taking the second spot. Other British inclusions are June Felix, CEO of IG Group; Rachel Lord, senior managing director, head of Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) BlackRock; and Penny James, CEO at the Direct Line Group.

British woman Jennie Koo, head of operations risk management at Capital One, is number four in the HERoes 50 Women Future Leaders List.

Alan Jope, Unilever CEO, who is based in London, was named the leading Advocate for Women in the 2020 honours alongside other major CEOs including Jeremy Darroch at Sky and Marc Benioff at Salesforce.

IG Group CEO June Felix says it’s crucial we have visible, accessible female leaders and allies to inspire the next generation of female talent to succeed. “I hope that by being shortlisted, I can help dispel some of the preconceptions and stereotypes that surround what a FTSE leader should look like, particularly in the financial services sector,” she says.

Unilever CEO Alan Jope says the recognition is a huge honour. “The majority of people we collaborate with at Unilever understand the business case for more gender-balanced organisations and so we have seen an increase in the representation of women in recent years. However, there’s still much more to do,” he said.

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