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Salary & Benefit Census 2019 – Gender Breakdown

Posted on
November 18, 2019

Gender in Financial Services:

As portrayed in 2019’s Salary & Benefit Census, the financial services industry has traditionally been a male dominated sector.

74% of the 873 financial services professionals whom participated in the survey are male, and through the statistics over the past seven years the census has been running, it is clear to see the male dominance in the industry through established trends.

However, by removing the Financial Advisers and BDM roles from the statistics, which are always predominantly male dominated (this year at 83%) and account for the largest proportion of Census respondents (67%), 53% of roles are represented by females. This definitely isn’t a bad figure, however, in the next few years, hopefully a figure closer to this will be represented in all financial services roles.

There is a 50/50 representation among the role of the Paraplanner, which is promising to see as not only is a Paraplanner a stepping stone to an adviser role, but it is a career in itself.

Administration roles continue to be the only category where males are the minority at 23.5%, whilst compliance is still predominantly male orientated, with only a third represented by females. The lowest representation in compliance roles was, however, in the first year of the Census, so it is nice to see a positive change here.

Women in Finance Awards:

Whilst measures are being undertaken to address male dominance in the industry, with initiatives such as Women in Finance Awards, the shift has been minimal, however, it is still changing.

Women in Finance Awards (, were launched in 2017 to celebrate and showcase the leading UK women in finance. Only 12% of financial services industry leaders globally are female.

Recruiting female finance talent is increasingly challenging for companies because of the stereotypes discouraging women from entering the sector. The Women in Finance Awards aims to tackle the gender imbalance by showcasing the achievements of women in the industry.

Gender Outside of the Industry:

It isn’t just the Financial Services industry with a strong gender imbalance. In research surrounding the UK’s largest publicly-listed companies, it has been found that Britain’s top 100 firms have just six female CEO’s (

This data also shows that only 36% of all executive and management appointments went to female candidates this year. Two-thirds of all roles are still being given to men. The UK still has a long way to go before reaching equality between men and women in the workplace, but women in leading roles has been increasing slightly over the last couple of years.

Gender Diversity at BWD:

At BWD Search & Selection, 70% of employees are male, including the three Directors, with only a 30% female representation in the company. These may not look like great numbers; however, it is above average for the number of women in the financial services sector from the Census report, and we are increasing numbers in the business constantly.

Lorraine Robertson, Divisional Director of Change Management, has said that, “Having worked in Financial Services for over 20 years, it is so encouraging to see that diversity and inclusion has catapulted into the foreground, with gender diversity high on the agenda for many organisations. At BWD, we are no different with Diversity and Inclusion high on our agenda too. This approach is set to continue as we recognise that all individuals bring unique perspectives and abilities. Common sense prevails; gender diversity results in better performance and profitability! Creating a working environment that is conducive to the health and wellbeing of its employees is key for us too. I am delighted and proud to work for an organisation that is committed to employing women and men in equal measure, embracing different races, cultures, sexualities and backgrounds.”

The Pay Gap:

No matter what the gender diversity in your company, everyone should have the same opportunities and the same pay, which should go without saying. Women in Europe, on average, are paid 16% less than their male colleagues for the same role.

The Financial Services industry also has a clear gender pay gap, with males having much higher earnings. This could be due to more female employees working in part-time employment than males. This could also be due to longevity in an existing role or the industry as a whole, as on average, males have spent 37% more time in their role than females. Males also dominate the two highest paid roles, whilst females make up 74% of the lowest paid in administration, which is the main reason for the gender pay gap.

Although, through the information from respondents, we have no indication that males have a higher starting salary than their female colleagues. Hopefully over time, with the continuation of females entering the market, we should see the pay gap close.

The Future for Gender:

It will be interesting to see if the trends in gender change over the next couple of years as more women complete the associated training for particular roles that require professional qualifications.

With the opportunity for more females to become qualified over the coming years, and as this Census continues, it will be great to see not only less of a pay gap between men and women, but also more females in the industry.

Click the link below to find out more by downloading the Salary & Benefit Census 2019:

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BWD Financial Services Earnings & Benefits Census 2021/22

This BWD Census is designed to be the definitive reference guide to salaries, earnings, and benefits in the UK financial services sector.

It is carried out entirely independently of any FS employer and embraces Advisers, BDMs, Paraplanners, and Compliance Professionals. Information was gathered from over 550 individuals via an online, confidential questionnaire issued in December 2021 and January 2022.                       

BWD Salary and Benefits Census
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