The number of female top earners in the UK has remained at the same level for the fifth consecutive year, according to a new report.
The report, released by global law firm Clyde & Co, shows that the proportion of UK female high earners has remained static, despite the drive to increase the number of women in senior positions.
The research, obtained through data collected from HMRC, reveals that women account for 27 per cent of all higher rate taxpayers in each of the last five financial years. The data shows that last year, women accounted for 1.26 million of the 4.64 million higher rate taxpayers.
This static level has remained despite the number of higher rate taxpayers increasing by over one million people within the last five years.
These current figures are despite the attempts to increase the number of women in senior positions in the UK. There have been a number of initiatives rolled out across the country, including Lord Davies’ new target for FTSE 100 firms to have 33 per cent female board members by 2020; and a voluntary charter aimed at getting more women into senior roles within the financial services sector.
In 2015, David Cameron also announced plans to introduce new legislation, which will require organisations with over 250 employees to publish information on their gender pay gap.
Heidi Watson, Employment Partner at Clyde & Co, said, “It is clear that the initiatives launched so far have not had an impact on national figures for women in high earning positions, which in turn impacts on the national gender pay gap. The Government will be hoping that the new gender pay reporting rules can change that.”
“While there are no penalties for breaching the rules, the risk of reputational damage is high. Some critics believe the rules lack teeth but the public scrutiny firms will face through ‘naming and shaming’ is likely to be intense.”
“One of the most significant causes of the pay gap for most organisations is the lack of women in senior roles. If an organisation can crack this, they will be way ahead of their competitors. This data shows the impact of any current programmes is not yet being felt.”
Continuing, Charles Urquhart, Employment Partner at Clyde & Co, said, “With only 8 months to go businesses should be trying to get ahead of the game before the first round of reporting is required.”