THURSDAY 30 NOV 2017 1:01 PM


The findings of a recent survey undertaken this month by Bank of New York Mellon revealed that male investor relations executives are paid as much as 45% more than women in the same roles, with the figure widening to 65% in emerging markets. Sampling IR professionals from 537 companies across 51 countries, the study illustrates the ongoing male-dominance of the profession.

In the UK, gender pay gap figures were recorded at an average of 14.1%, a figure that, put in context by the Office for National Statistics, translates to women working from 10 November to the end of the year for free. Total mean pay, inclusive of salaries and bonus, was found to be more than 35%, with the pay statistics for male executives recorded at £204,811, and women earning £141,270. In emerging markets, the divide reaches almost 50%.

Yet away from salary statistics, men also hold more positions within companies, with the research showing 71 men for every 29 women across the companies included. Further commentary in BNY Mellon’s report entitled ‘Return on Equity,’ in collaboration with the United Nations Foundation, reported that closing cross-sector gender pay gaps could unlock over £200bn in incremental annual spending by 2025.

Earlier this year, the European Commission released its ‘Report on equality between men and women in the EU,’ detailing that numerous factors continue to contribute to pay disparity across Europe, including age groups (a lower divide exists for younger demographics), as well as working hours and overall conditions for women resulting in ‘flatter’ career paths in comparison to men.

For investor relations however, the increased gender pay divide is symptomatic of further industry related issues in equality.

Christopher Kearns, head of depositary receipts at BNY Mellon, says, “While the pay disparity is large among respondents, especially in the emerging markets, the function of investor relations is an increasingly critical role and professionalising the world over. AS companies face an increase in active stewardship from their investors and a smaller pool of discretionary capital with passive investments growth, attracting and retaining the best talent – both women and men – is critical.”