If you're a woman in banking, you may easily out-earn a man - but only if you work in some of the lowest paid areas of the industry.
Results to the eFinancialCareers compensation (salary and bonus) survey, suggest that women are paid more than men on average in only two sectors: compliance and operations.
Coincidentally (or not), these are some of the worst paid jobs in banking: in our ranking of 10 roles by average pay, compliance and operations come in eighth and ninth place.
However, our survey results suggest that compliance, at least, is comparatively lifestyle friendly: compliance professionals work an average of 48 hours per week versus 55 in sales and trading and 73 in the investment banking division (M&A, equity capital markets, debt capital markets).
Are women thriving in compliance for lifestyle reasons? Not necessarily. In financial services technology, where working hours also average 48 per week, average total compensation for women is only 63% of average total compensation for men. In sales and trading, where weekly working hours are only slightly higher than in operations, women earn only 62% of men's pay on average.
The survey results aren't adjusted for the comparative seniority of respondents, and in every sector the number of female respondents was a fraction of the number of men responding. The results may therefore be skewed by the comparatively small female sample sizes and by the fact that women in banking tend to be more junior than men by virtue of a) their tendency to leave the industry after a few years and b) banks' increasing efforts to hire female candidates onto their training programs. Nonetheless, our survey suggests that the financial services industry still has a very, very long way to go before women and men achieve equal pay status - particularly in some of the best paid jobs in the front office.
Significantly, the survey results also disprove the theory that because performance in some roles is highly transparent, then women can easily earn the same as men. In sales and trading, where pay is very dependent on PnL, the gender pay gap is greater than in risk, where achievement is more qualitative.
The biggest discrepancy between male and female pay in banking is in the finance (accounting) division, where women's pay is only 46% men's pay, on average.
There are certainly some senior women in compliance. - Credit Suisse's former head of compliance, Lara Warner, occupied her role for over 14 years before leaving earlier this year following the Archegos and Greensill scandals. With regards to Archegos, there have been suggestions at the time that Warner was being unfairly blamed for the incompetence of senior men in the prime brokerage unit.
Download our full salary and bonus survey here.
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