Google's equal-pay claim for women comes with an asterisk

Doug Mendoza
March 18, 2018

Women were paid 21 percent less in Germany than men previous year, leaving the gender pay gap in Europe's biggest economy unchanged, the Federal Statistics Office said on Thursday.

The bank's median gender pay gap is 29%, which was not the worst in the industry, but still more than three times the United Kingdom average.

HSBC Bank's median gender pay gap for fixed hourly pay for 2017 is 29%.

At the same time, banks and fund managers are revealing high gender pay gaps that have been blamed on the lack of women in the top, high-paying roles. "We have made progress over the years", it said, "yet we have significant work to do".

Its mean pay gap, reflecting the difference between the average of men's and women's pay, for hourly pay was 55.5 per cent, and that rose to 72.2 per cent on bonuses. The requirement was enshrined in the Equality Act of 2010, with the regulations coming into effect on April 5, 2017.

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HSBC said: "We recognise that that there is more work to do to address our gender balance at senior levels". Women make up more than half of HSBC's United Kingdom workforce (54%) yet less than a quarter of its senior roles (23%). Currently, 23% of the organisation's United Kingdom senior leaders are women and at a group level, 29.4% of the members on HSBC's board are women.

For instance, disclosure of the company's median wage gap, like that being disclosed for Google's United Kingdom operations by April, would give shareholders a more complete understanding of the issue.

"Improving the gender balance across businesses and levels of seniority is a priority and something to which the group management board is committed", Arden continued. Of the 2,300 companies that have reported thus far, the financial services industry has revealed some of the biggest pay gaps. Three former employees proceed against Google claiming they were paid and promoted less than their male colleagues.

It also noted that a higher proportion of female employees were working on part-time hours, with employees who work part-time receiving their bonuses on a pro rata basis.

Barclays said last month it paid women in its global division, which houses its investment bank, on average 48 percent of what men earned in fixed pay. Data on the company's website shows that women account for 62.4 per cent of jobs in the lowest quartile when broken down by pay, but just 17 per cent of all the jobs in the highest quartile.

Other reports by GizPress

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