Goldman Sachs’s UK gender pay gap widest in six years

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Goldman Sachs has revealed that its gender pay gap in its UK operations widened in 2023, underscoring how the Wall Street bank has struggled to promote more women into top positions.

The mean hourly pay difference between men and women at Goldman Sachs International, its main UK entity, rose from 53.2 per cent in 2022 to 54 per cent in 2023, the bank showed in its annual UK general pay gap report on Thursday, confirming an earlier report by the Financial Times. This was the highest the gap has been over the past six years. 

At Goldman Sachs Asset Management International, which houses parts of the bank’s non-US money management business, the gap widened to 54.1 per cent from 51.3 per cent.

In talking points sent to senior Goldman executives for discussions with employees and any clients who call, the bank acknowledges that women are under-represented at more senior levels inside the bank. 

“Importantly, this gender pay gap report does not account for pay in similar role or tenure, but we know that we need to do more to increase representation of women at the senior-most levels of the firm,” a Goldman spokesperson said.

Since 2017, UK companies with 250 or more employees have been required to publish their gender pay gap. The two UK subsidiaries cover about 4,000 of Goldman’s 45,000 worldwide employees, for most of whom the bank is not obliged to publish comparable data.

The UK pay gap numbers are based on a snapshot taken at the start of April of each year.

Rival Morgan Stanley reported that the mean pay gap at its main UK subsidiary edged lower in 2023 to 48 per cent from 48.8 per cent. 

Goldman has seen a spate of high-profile women leave, including Beth Hammack, who was once touted as a potential chief financial officer of the bank; Dina Powell McCormick, who left to join merchant bank BDT & MSD Partners; and Stephanie Cohen, who used to co-run Goldman’s consumer and wealth management business. 

Financial groups often say that bolstering diversity requires a bottom-up approach that shows results over time. Goldman chief executive David Solomon has often talked about efforts to promote female executives and has set a target for women to comprise at least 40 per cent of the bank’s vice presidents by 2025. 

Goldman has said its most recent partner class in 2022 was its most diverse, with women making up 29 per cent of the 80-person group. Of the 608 Goldman employees promoted to managing director last year, 31 per cent were women.

Past and present women employees at Goldman acknowledge that the bank has made progress towards fostering a more balanced workforce but many say that the bank still has considerable progress to make. 

Additional reporting by Stephen Gandel

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