Goldman Sachs reports biggest U.K. gender pay gap in 6 years



The gap between what Goldman Sachs Group Inc. pays men and women in its UK workforce widened to its highest level in six years, underlining the difficulties the Wall Street giant has had in retaining and attracting top female talent. 

The mean hourly pay difference at Goldman Sachs International rose to 54% in last year, according to a person familiar with the matter. That’s up from 53.2% the previous year and means women at the unit earn about half what men earn when comparing their average hourly pay.

The difference — which is common among investment banks — is driven by the underrepresentation of women in the bank’s most senior ranks, something the lender has long vowed it is working to improve. Women made up roughly 23% of employees in the unit’s top pay quartile in 2022, the UK data shows.

“Importantly, this gender pay gap report does not account for pay in similar role or tenure, but we know that we need to do more to increase representation of women at the senior-most levels of the firm,” a spokesperson for Goldman said.

The lack of women at Goldman’s highest levels has long been a sore point for the bank. No woman has ever been appointed to the role of chair, chief executive officer, president or CFO in the company’s history.

CEO David Solomon has set a target for women to comprise at least 40% of the bank’s vice presidents by 2025. Last year, 42% of the firm’s experienced hires were women, including 40% of managing director hires and 32% of vice president hires.

Still, earlier this year, when the bank tapped 25 executives as the emerging leaders who would have a say in running its sprawling trading and banking business, only three women made the cut. One of them – Beth Hammack – later announced she was leaving the bank. 

The gender pay gap narrowed somewhat at the UK units of other US-based investment banks. At J.P. Morgan Securities Plc, it fell to 47% in 2023, compared with 49.3% the previous year. At Morgan Stanley & Co. International Plc, the figure slipped to 48% from 48.8%.

Gender pay gap reporting became mandatory in the UK in 2017 and has provided an insight into how far women’s earnings continue to lag behind those of men. 

To be sure, the mean numbers are a blunt assessment across the whole workforce. The figures don’t measure the pay of men and women doing the same job, or adjust for other factors, such as experience or location. Rather, they tend to show which gender holds the best-paying jobs.

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