Bank of Ireland gender pay gap widens in UK

Mean hourly pay for women at BoI 38.7% below men’s remuneration in 2018

 “There are more women than men in more junior, lower-paid roles,” says Bank of Ireland.

“There are more women than men in more junior, lower-paid roles,” says Bank of Ireland.

 

The difference between the average amount men and women are paid in Bank of Ireland’s UK division widened last year, even as the group has committed to gender diversity among senior levels as a key priority.

The mean hourly pay for women in the unit was 38.7 per cent below men’s remuneration last year, compared to 35.7 per cent for 2017, according to figures published on the company’s website this week. However, the median difference – which compares salaries at the middle point of the range – narrowed to 28.3 per cent from 31.9 per cent. The figures exclude data for Northern Ireland.

In AIB’s UK business, the difference between the average pay for men and women shrank by 0.1 percentage point to 30.8 per cent. However, the median widened to 17.9 per cent from 16.6 per cent.

Hundreds of UK companies have reported gender pay gap figures in recent days ahead of a deadline of midnight on Thursday, following the introduction last year of mandatory disclosures by firms and public sector departments employing at least 250 people.

Embarrassing data

At its debut last year, the new reporting system unleashed a wave of embarrassing information, highlighting that women are often under-represented in higher-paying roles and prompting pledges from many leading firms to improve the situation. Even so, they point out that meaningful change takes time and that little can be concluded from just two years of data.

Such reporting is also coming down the tracks in Ireland, with draft laws on the matter currently working their way through the legislative process.

“The underlying reasons behind our gender pay gap are consistent with those reported in 2017,” Bank of Ireland said in its report. “There are more women than men in more junior, lower-paid roles (lowest quartile) and fewer women than men in senior leadership, higher-paid roles (highest quartile). We continue to review our processes and practices to ensure that all employees performing equivalent jobs are paid fairly.”

Lowest quartile

Women make up 69 per cent of the bank’s lowest quartile of workers, while they account for just 30 per cent of employees in the highest quartile of Bank of Ireland (UK).

In AIB, women accounted for 67 per cent of lower-quartile staff in the UK and 36 per cent of employees in the top band.

“We are confident that men and women are paid equally for doing different jobs,” AIB said. “As we move towards a 50:50 balance at our management levels, our gender pay gap will reduce.”

Both banks have signed up in recent years to the UK’s HM Treasury Women in Finance Charter, which aims to build a more gender-balanced workplace.

Bank of Ireland last year set a target that women will make up half of all senior appointments through the group by the end of 2021. – Additional reporting: Bloomberg