New research reveals women make up only one quarter of people with salaries over £73,000

The news comes as business diversity specialist INvolve releases its annual HERoes Women Role Model Lists

Today (Thursday September 24th) marks the launch of the annual INvolve HERoes Women Role Model Lists, supported by Yahoo Finance, which celebrate businesspeople playing a key role in breaking down barriers at work for women; using their positions to keep diversity and inclusion at the top of the agenda.

The release of the role model lists comes as research by INvolve, in conjunction with HR Data Hub, shows that much more needs to be done to address gender equality in business. An analysis of 250,000 professionals found that 77 per cent of people with salaries over £73,000 are men, whilst women make up the majority (56 per cent) of those professionals who are in the lowest pay bracket of up to £17,000.

The research also found that women have spent longer in each role at the lower end of the pay scale, but as they become more senior, this dramatically reduces. For instance, a woman has spent an average of 10 years on a salary of £21,000, compared to a man’s 8 years, but has only spent 5 years at a salary of £165,000, compared with a man’s 8 years.

INvolve’s Founder & CEO, Suki Sandhu OBE, who was awarded his OBE in 2019 for services to diversity in business, has worked for nearly a decade on advising companies on how to improve diversity.

He said: ‘Despite the many initiatives to address gender inequality, it’s clear that there is still a shocking lack of women in senior positions which continues to drive a significant gender pay gap.

‘With the delays to reporting on the gender pay gap this year, coupled with the negative impact of COVID-19 on pay equality, it’s vital that we continue to push for change. That’s why it’s more important than ever that we celebrate those who are taking action globally to drive inclusion for women, and that’s why the HERoes Women Role Model Lists are so important.

‘We’re delighted to be celebrating another fantastic group of people from across the world who are collectively driving cultural change and creating workplaces where women have an opportunity to succeed and be recognised as equal to men.’

Harriet Green OBE, Board Member & Former CEO/Chair IBM Asia Pac, who joins the HERoes judging panel this year said, ‘I am both proud and excited to become a judge for HERoes this year. A phrase that I have used most of my career, and I believe in it more than ever now, is, ‘if you can see it, you can be it’. I think that this is incredibly powerful.

‘We have to keep learning; we have to keep growing. We can write and we can be the voices and we can see, and we can be seen, but every single day, we need to take action to support other women.’

High flying professionals from 26 different countries made this year’s HERoes Role Model Lists – more than any of the previous years. British success stories have been recognised side by side with senior executives from global multinationals. Dr. Jennifer R. Jackson, the President of Capital One Canada, who is based in Toronto, heads the 100 Women Executives List while JiHye Bae, Head of Credit Cards for Standard Chartered Korea (SCBK) tops the Future Leaders list from her base in Seoul.

Four British Women are also in the Top Ten of this year’s global HERoes Women Executives Role Model List with the Executive Vice Chairman of Mastercard, Ann Cairns, taking the second spot. Alongside Ann Cairns on the 100 HERoes Women Executives List are;

June Felix, the Chief Executive Officer of IG Group (at number three)

Rachel Lord, Senior Managing Director, Head of Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) BlackRock (at number six)

Penny James, Chief Executive Officer at the Direct Line Group (at number nine)

Meanwhile another British woman, Jennie Koo, Head of Operations Risk Management at Capital One, is named at number four in the HERoes 50 Women Future Leaders List, which highlights those tipped for future leadership success.

Alan Jope, Chief Executive Officer of consumer goods company Unilever, who is based in London, has been named the leading Advocate for Women in the 2020 honours alongside other major CEOs including Jeremy Darroch, CEO of Sky and Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce.

Alan Jope, Chief Executive Officer, Unilever,
HERoes Advocates Role Model List
‘Looking at the other brilliant people on the list, I’m not sure I’m deserving!  It’s a huge honour. The majority of people we collaborate with at Unilever understand the business case for more gender-balanced organisations and so we have seen an increase in the representation of women in recent years. However, there’s still much more to do.’

Jeremy Darroch, CEO, Sky
HERoes Advocates Role Model List
‘Achieving gender equality is not only the right thing to do for our society, but at Sky we want to make sure we are making balanced business decisions. You are always in a position to innovate and drive change – you do not have wait until you are a leader. Every person has a unique role to play in driving a business to be better and to get there sooner.’

June Felix, CEO, IG Group
HERoes Executive Role Model List
‘It’s crucial we have visible, accessible female leaders and allies acting as roles models to inspire the next generation of female talent to succeed. I hope that by being shortlisted, I can help dispel some of the preconceptions and stereotypes that surround what a FTSE leader should look like, particularly in the financial services sector.’

Dr. Jennifer R. Jackson, President, Capital One Canada
HERoes Executive Role Model List
‘I am honored and humbled to be named on the HERoes list. This recognition is even sweeter because I am on the list with so many extraordinary leaders who have impacted entire industries and inspired so many people.

‘Celebrating and elevating the achievements of women is essential to ensure that the next generation can see successful women of all backgrounds in executive roles, showing that it is not only possible, but expected, that the top levels in business and across industries are diverse and inclusive.’

Penny James, Chief Executive Officer, Direct Line Group
HERoes Executive Role Model List
‘When I joined Direct Line Group, I was the only female on our executive committee. Alongside new Board chair Danuta Gray, I am part of a rare female duo at the top of a leading UK company and I am one of a handful of FTSE 250 Female CEOs. Things are improving, but we should all strive to do better.’

JiHye Bae, Head of Credit Card, Standard Chartered Korea (SCBK)
HERoes Future Leaders Role Model List
‘I am really pleased and honoured to be selected as the HERoes Future Leader. I believe that a balanced gender ratio at the senior levels within the organisation not only enables innovation but is also an important value of an organization to derive diverse and rational decision-making processes.’

Jennie Koo, Head of Operations Risk Management, Capital One
HERoes Future Leaders Role Model List
‘Being classed as role model is hugely humbling and I now appreciate that by embracing this, I can bring more to the table and inspire others in continuing to drive progress. Despite the potential this year may have had to have set back the gender progress, there is much that can be learned from the innovative approaches organisations have had to shift to, to enable businesses to continue’.

Michelle Morgan, Associate Director, Mindshare
HERoes Future Leaders Role Model List
‘It is an honour to be recognised on the Heroes Role Model List. It is important that we encourage young women to take risks and find their passions; if rising female leaders see that it is possible they will be emboldened to go after leadership roles as they progress in their career.’

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