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Fewer women among the top earners

Women make up only 19.4% of the top 1% of earners in financial and professional services – meaning men are more than four times as likely as women to be among those with very high incomes. This figure has worsened slightly since before the pandemic when it was 19.7%, a report from The Inclusion Initiative at London School of Economics shows.

“Prior to the pandemic, the predicted probability for women to be among the top 1% of earners was 0.021, a figure that declined to 0.013 in the post-pandemic era. In contrast, the likelihood for men to reach this top earning percentile remained unchanged. Additionally, the persistent pre-pandemic gap between men and women in the top 10% of earners remains significant at approximately 20%”, the report says.

“The lack of progression of women to the most senior roles in financial and professional services is a major factor contributing to the gender pay gap. We are going backwards, but I am not surprised”, says Dr Grace Lordan, Founding Director of TII and Associate Professor in LSE.

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“For progress to be made there needs to be a bigger shift towards recognising that diversity is good for business. There also needs to be significant investment in upskilling managers to become inclusive leaders recognising that leading diverse teams is a skill. Without it, I will be giving the same quote 10 years from now.”

Teresa Almeida, Research Officer at The Inclusion Initiative, said: “The persistent absence of women among the top earners and in senior roles within financial and professional services is not just a matter of fairness, it’s a missed opportunity for innovation, productivity, and the realisation of untapped potential.”

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