Women are appearing in more positions of power than any time in history. We’ve got a female PM, female UKIP and Green Party leaders and a female presidential nominee.
But, apparently women are still not quite smashing the glass ceiling when it comes to their financial status – pay parity remains a distant dream.
According to a report published by the LSE, there are very few women amongst the richest people in the UK and other OECD countries.
While the proportion of women among the wealthiest 10% and 1% has risen since the 1990s, the report concludes that there seems to be “something of a glass ceiling for women” – the higher the income bracket, the less women there are in it – as numbers of women in the top 0.1% of earners were seen to have changed very little since the 1990s.
In the UK, women make up 28% of the top 10% earners (those earning £40,400 and above), they make up 18% of the UK’s top 1% (those earning £119,000 and above) and only 9% of the top 0.1% (those earning £456, 000 and above) – of which there are 53,000.
The report also looked at Spain, Denmark, Canada, New Zealand, Italy, Australia and Norway – and found that the UK had the lowest representation in the top 0.1%. The highest was Spain, with 16.6.
In all seven countries, researchers found a similar situation: a strong gender divide among the wealthiest, with men making up the majority of top income groups. Women made up less than a third of those in the top 10% in all countries looked at – with the distribution getting worse the higher the income bracket.
Co-author of the report, Alessandra Casarico, describes the findings as women getting “rarer the higher one climbs”.
“Women now make up more of the top income groups, but they are a distinct minority,” he says.
Professor John Hills, co-director of the LSE institute publishing the paper says:
“Right at the top it is still a male world. Women have managed to increase their representation in the top 10% because of their success in the professions and business, but few of them are among the very wealthiest.”
“Unconscious bias, with men recruiting in their own image from informal networks, a male-dominated, long-hours culture and the unequal impact of caring roles, all contribute to perpetuating a no-go area for women at the top. It has to change.”