Equal pay and equal opportunity make sense, but gender inequalities persist in financial services. However, progress is being made, with more women being installed in senior management and board positions in financial firms. There is much room for more progress, though. Chief executive positions, for example, remain largely filled by men.
Gender Pay Gap
Despite the gender-diversity rhetoric in business, the gender makeup of corporate boards, including those of MENA, reveal that the female population is poorly represented at the top. And studies prove that this imbalance works against the bottom line. Companies with female directors tend to fly higher profit-wise than their all-male competitors. Changes need to start at the societal level, with more women succeeding on every rung of the business ladder.
I recently spoke my mind on the challenges that women face in the banking sector. Just the day after, Anne Boden, founder of the UK’s Starling Bank, did the same. Our comments hit the headlines. We’d clearly struck a nerve.
Ms. Juliet Morris of International Banker interviews Ms. Nahla Khaddage Boudiab, COO of AM Bank on Lebanon’s banking sector, AM Bank’s success and her role within the World Union of Arab Bankers.
In the United Kingdom under new government regulation, businesses must report their gender pay gaps. The factors contributing to these gaps are varied, but as Jayne-Anne Gadhia, the government’s Women in Finance Champion, explains, closing them is a must to tap into the full potential of all employees regardless of gender, for the benefit of not only the workers and their firms but society at large.
“Equal pay for equal work” has been a familiar mantra, and law in many countries, for decades—but does reality coincide, especially in the world of finance? Various studies have revealed disturbing gender pay gaps, and the push is on for banks around the globe to disclose wage data according to gender and ethnicity, something many seem reluctant to do.