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LSE: Women make up less than one-fifth of top earners

HR News |  27/09/2016
According to a new study, women make up less than 18 per cent of the top one per cent of earners in the UK.

Researchers at the London School of Economics’ (LSE) International Inequalities Institute - along with international colleagues - compared tax data from eight countries since the 1980s or earlier to look at the gender composition of those with top incomes from all sources, not just from earnings.

They found that only nine per cent of the top 0.1 per cent of earners in the UK are women, the lowest of the six countries that can be compared. It was also revealed that the presence of women at the top has generally increased over time (although not in Australia), but less rapidly at the very top.

The researchers said that their study shows that it is important to look not just at the gender gap in pay from work, but also at who benefits from other kinds of income, such as dividends and interest.

Researcher Alessandra Casarico, of Bocconi University, Milan, said: “Women now make up more of the top income groups, but they still are a distinct minority and they become rarer the higher one climbs.

Composition of income is important: In the old days, the rich were those with property; they have been replaced by CEOs and entrepreneurs, among whom women are not well represented."

The LSE study follows a warning by professional services firm Deloitte that the gender pay gap will not close until 2069 unless action is taken now.

Emma Codd, managing partner for talent at Deloitte, said: “There are many factors that contribute to the gender pay gap. One of these occurs before entering the workforce, when boys and girls decide what to study at school and university.”

Ms Codd added: “Starting at GCSE level, where three times more boys than girls take computing and 50 per cent more boys than girls study design and technology, these early decisions drive fundamental skill differences between the genders for those entering the workplace. The trend is likely to continue unless it is addressed now.”

By Jon Aspinel

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