BRUIN Financial Launches WiFI Index

• Article by BRUIN Financial

BRUIN Financial Launches WiFI Index

BRUIN Financial launches first in series of WiFI Index – Women in Financial Institutions Index

Gender equality of opportunity improves over the year but gap at the top still to be narrowed


BRUIN Financial, part of The FISER Group, launches its first Women in Financial Institutions (“WiFI”) Index. The WiFI Index is derived from exhaustive data across four key metrics for gender equality of opportunity in the workplace: salary gap for those in work; pay increases for those moving jobs; getting an interview; securing a new job.

The WiFI Index is comprised of gender comparison results for permanently employed staff across key metrics each with a weighting split as to: 30% for both the pay gap for those in work and for those moving, 15% for those having a job interview and 25% for those securing a new job.

The WiFI Index measures on a rolling monthly basis changes to the Index, rebased to 100 starting in March 2014. Should the WiFI Index score over 100 for any set period since March 2014, this indicates a narrowing of any gap in gender equality of opportunity meaning women are moving towards overall parity with their male counterparts. If the WiFI index falls below 100 then the gap has widened in favour of men.

Between March 2014 and March 2015 the BRUIN WiFI Index moved from 100 to 116 indicating a sharp improvement in opportunities for women in finance, despite disparities still existing between the sexes, largely down to pay for the minority of higher earners with salaries of £80,000 to £90,000 or above.
The BRUIN Financial data stretches back four years and detailed successive rolling monthly benchmarking analysis of the past two years comprises a group of more than 2,500 finance workers, recording pay and jobs data for men and women who are already in or seeking to move to comparable jobs within the UK financial services industry.

The market examined covers the back-office roles, comprising around 300,000 jobs in the UK of which more than 250,000 are based in London focused on the City, West End and Canary Wharf. This group of financial services workers, who largely stay out of the limelight, provide the backbone for London’s financial services industry. The average salary for London’s financial services back-office workers is around £55,000, according to BRUIN’s WiFI Index with salaries ranging from entry-level graduate pay of £20,000 up to £120,000, with around 70% of financial workers earning between £40,000 and £80,000 in base salaries.

Key findings for WiFI Index, March 2014 to March 2015:

WiFI Index increased from 100 to 116: The overall positive increase in the WiFI Index is largely due to the far greater percentage rise in women’s salaries over their male counterparts, helping to narrow the pay gap and greater numbers of women being interviewed and hired.

Pay at the top however has widened in favour of men:

  • 5.4%: Average female salary increase over the year to March 2014
  • 15.9%: Average female salary increase over the year to March 2015
  • Women received on average a 3.8% higher salary increase than men, year to March 2015
  • Women still paid on average 15.8% less than men: £61,000 for men and £54,000 for women
  • Men earning between £1,000 and £11,000 more per year for salaries over £80,000
  • Men are still 7.5% more likely to be invited for interview
  • Men are still 8.5% more likely to receive a job offer than women

Salaries for men and women are widely comparable from entry level £20,000 up to £70,000 For the past year women in finance in the £20,000 to £40,000 bracket have however commanded on average more than £1,000 in salary than their men counterparts at £36,000 per year, after a year in which women in financial services have overall enjoyed greater percentage pay rises. This change could also be attributable to the greater numbers of female graduates who have been moving into finance over the past few years following a huge surge in women taking business appropriate degrees and courses at tertiary education.

Bonuses tend for this army of ordinary back office workers in the financial services industry typically add on as low as single digit percentages, but on average added on nearly 20% to basic pay over the past year – the first year which has seen tangible high rates of increase in both salary and bonuses since the financial crisis in 2008/9.

  • Average bonus is 19% of basic salary across financial services
  • Average female bonus is 16%
  • Average male bonus is 23%

However as has always been the case there is a large variance in bonus percentages, ranging from 2% to 46%.

Kirstin Duffy, Chief Operating Officer of BRUIN Financial said:

“This isn’t a gender issue, this is a talent issue. Without equality of opportunity, talent will either not come through the door or will simply walk out for a rival. Employers who haven’t begun to take account of this are already losing out to their competitors.

For women and men to have a real equality of opportunity it is not simply a question of starting salary, but whether financial workers of the same ability earn comparable pay rises when they move jobs and whether they can land the interview and secure the new job based on talent alone.
We have launched the BRUIN Financial WiFI Index to open up the reality on the ground about the gender pay gap. Office workers and their bosses need to know what is going wrong so that it can be fixed in time for the current generation of workers to become the enlightened employers of tomorrow. With more and more women entering the financial services industry there will inevitably be a narrowing of pay gap at the lower, entry end. Our challenge is to ensure we can encourage the very best females in finance to stay on and go for the top, knowing that everyone is working together to ensure gender based pay differentials simply is not an issue.”

Robert Thesiger, Chief Executive Officer of The FISER Group said: “Women are closing the gap with men as employers make inroads at the bottom end of the market, which bodes well for the future as women move up the career path in the years to come. The senior end of the market however has seen the pay gap increase once again. After several years of little difference in pay rises at the top, this past year has seen more opportunities being sealed by men for jobs offering salaries of £80,000 or more.

Time will tell if the new changes to parental leave – with spouses being able to share time maternity leave – will allow the pay gap to narrow once again. That change in the law may mean a time lag on reality taking effect as we move from a period of stabilisation to growth once again in the financial services sector.
Many front office based jobs in equities trading or corporate finance necessarily operate around less sociable or even predictable hours – at the mercy of deal deadlines – which inevitably work prejudicially to those juggling family commitments. Those pressures still affect many more women than men at the early years of childcare, meaning senior jobs in deal making are still dominated by men. The vast majority of jobs in the financial services sector remain in back office, spread across the asset management, risk and compliance sectors and where working hours may still be long but tend to be more predictable.

We aim to highlight the statistics, the facts on the ground, so that change can be effected from bottom up. Employers want to make the change and as the economy moves back into fast growth mode it is essential to get the rebalancing made early before divergences widen as pay rises increase in line with or ahead of the pace of economic growth.”


Notes to editors
About BRUIN Financial
BRUIN Financial is a City based financial services consultancy, specialising in recruitment. BRUIN was founded in 2010 and recruits from graduate level to senior level positions across back and middle office functions within Financial Services.

About The FISER Group
The FISER Group is the UK’s leading Human Capital specialist operating solely in the Financial Services sector. The FISER Group is privately owned and encompasses specialist recruitment firm BRUIN Financial, business consultancy and change management firm IBAM Consulting, and executive search firm LUDGATE Search.