August 19 ,2015 | by Claire Payne

Gender pay gap should go says leading UK investment figure

Gender pay gap should go

By pointing out that there are twice as many CEOs and chairmen of FTSE 100 companies called 'John' than the total number of women holding such positions, a leading UK investment expert has highlighted how far gender equality has to go in the UK.

As CEO of Newton Investment Management, chair of the Investment Association and founder of the 30% Club, Helena Morrissey is perfectly placed to comment on the place of women in the UK economy.

Pay gap

Morrissey points out that on average a woman working for a UK employer earns only 81p for every £1 earned by a man and that means a gender pay gap of more than 19% is a daily reality for female workers.

Although the Equal Pay Act of 1976 actually makes paying less on grounds of gender illegal, the dominant factors causing the issue today revolve around the higher number of women in low status and low paid jobs, as well as more women being employed in part-time work.

There are also more subtle factors at play, such as women being more reluctant than men are to ask for a pay rise and the effect that having children can have on a long-term career.


A new government consultation initiative is following up on an election manifesto pledge that would require organisations with 250+ employees to publish gender pay information.

A previous Government consultation on narrative reporting in 2011 looked at disclosure of gender diversity information below the boardroom but ended up being a "missed opportunity to improve transparency," according to Morrissey.

Claire Payne

Claire Payne is a journalism graduate and News Writer for LSBF. She writes about SMEs, education and careers, entrepreneurship, women in business, and sustainability.

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