Sharp Decline in Number of Top Earning Women in UK's Finance Sector

By: GWL Team | Sunday, 9 June 2024

London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) has recently released research on the falling percentage of women in finance and professional services as top earners at the United Kingdom in the post-pandemic stage. Read out the figures below to know what the resrach says.

Business and corporate has been witnessing a rise of women in the past few decades. With a good level of knowledge and understanding, women started stepping into the dynamical business realm. Nonetheless, the world witnessed a global pandemic that came out of nowhere and changed the lives of people in many different ways.

Having mentioned about COVID-19, numerous things has changed. Every possible aspect has reshaped after the pandemic hit the world. With the on-going modifications, the productivity of women has also altered in some or the other way.

Specifically, women coming from British community has changed the way they used to work before the COVID-19 outbreak. From corporate to finances, these women were rising at a fast pace. However, things took a backseat and they slowed down, exemplifying a lack of certain aspects in their professional lives.

Proportion of Women’s Participation

In new research by London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), it has been found that women make up a smaller proportion of top earners in British financial and professional services as compared to before COVID-19 pandemic. The reduction in number shows that we need to put extra efforts into connecting women with the sector.

According to the research, only 19.4 percent is made by women out of top 1 percent of earners on average in the sector. This was recorded between the first quarter of 2020 and the second quarter of 2023 which came down from 19.7 percent in the last 3 years up to the first quarter of 2020. These findings represent that men are now more likely than women among the highest earners i.e., over 4 times.

Figurehead statements:

Grace Lordan, LSE’s associate professor stated, “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. For progress to be made, there needs to be a bigger shift towards recognising that diversity is good for business.”

Deep into the Report

Since the pandemic, the situations in the financial sectors have deteriorated. While men’s probability has remained unchanged for being high earners in both, pre-pandemic and post-pandemic, women’s predicted probability is to be in the top earners’ 1 per cent dropping from 0.021 before the pandemic to 0.013 after it.

Considering the percentages, it is certain that gender pay gap has remain unchanged too for the people earning in the top 10 percent i.e., at 20 percent. With women holding the top 10% of earners’ 28.3 percent, men hold 71.7 percent (approx.), that shows a huge difference.

Furthermore, the CEO and president of Women in Banking and Finance, Anna Lane said, “The facts are unequivocal. Without bold and decisive action, the progress women have made is at risk of reversing. Now, we must ask ourselves: isn't it time to establish hard quotas for women in executive, managing director and director positions? This is our moment to think boldly - to ensure that women are not merely participants but leaders at the forefront, shaping the future of finance. It's about more than maintaining balance; it's about catalysing transformation and driving our industry forward with innovative leadership."


According to the report, after the pandemic, women are 6 percent less likely to work in full-time employment as compared to men. Considering some of the sectors like information technology seems to be opposing the post- pandemic trends. IT sector’s women are reportedly 11.6 percent more likely to come under the top 10% of earners, currently while 5.5 percent more likely to have full-time roles. In addition, women who are in the senior positions like directors or department heads are 3.9 percent less likely to have full-time jobs.

These figures show that the gender equality has taken up a much slower pace after the global pandemic especially in the United Kingdom. With more focus on gender equality, we can encourage more women to continue or pursue careers in the financial sector. This will ensure a better environment and a finer economic balance.