Women in Business

19 Nov 2014
Diane Abbott MP

To ask the Ministers for Women and Equalities, what steps her Department is taking to address the gender pay gap in the financial sector and to increase female representation at board level in FTSE100 companies; and if she will make a statement.

Answered by: Jo Swinson MP on 26 November 2014

The gender pay gap in the UK is at an historic low. In the financial & insurance activities sector, the overall gender pay gap is (including both part time and full time workers) down from 44.3% in 2011 to 40.2% in 2014. However, the sector still has a completely unacceptable pay gap of around twice the national average, so more needs to be done. We are strongly encouraging more girls to consider maths and science-related careers through the “Your Life” initiative. Women in the sector will also benefit from the many other measures we are taking to drive the pay gap down further, including extending flexible working to all employees; introducing Shared Parental Leave; and bringing in new childcare tax provisions. We are also providing free software to companies for them to calculate any pay gaps and to analyse the causes of them.The UK takes a voluntary approach increasing the numbers of women on boards. We are making progress with the Lord Davies business-led initiative to achieve 25% women on boards by 2015 and have moved from 12.5% to nearly 23% of women on the boards of the top 100 companies since 2011. For the first time, every board of Britain’s top 100 companies has at least one woman. Government will continue to work closely with investors, regulators, head hunters and businesses to implement his recommendation of 25% women on boards by 2015.

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