In the UK specifically, the findings revealed women are paid on average 30 percent less than men for the same finance roles.
Most telling is the slow progress being made when it comes to younger professionals.
Women joining a finance role in the UK today can still expect to be paid 24 percent less than a male counterpart.
The gender pay gap still exists in Europe and the US
The new CFO Salary Benchmark research by Spendesk through CFO Connect, reveals that overall, men in the finance industry across Europe and the US earn 13 percent more than their female peers.
Although, the gap is much wider in countries like the UK (30%) and Germany (29%). In the UK specifically, the average female finance worker earns £89,000/€104,000, while her male equivalent earns £116,000/€135,000.
The pay gap is different depending on roles, with more senior positions being more closely aligned.
For example, the average salary across Europe and the US for a female Chief Finance Officer (CFO) is £112,000/€131,500, whereas the male equivalent averages at £116,000/€136,000 – a gap of 3.5 percent.
In contrast, at mid-level, there is a pay gap of 22 percent for Financial Planning Managers, with the average salary for a female in that role at £50,000/€59,000 compared with £62,000/€72,000 for her male counterpart.
Overall, women aged between 25-30 can expect to be paid 24 percent less than men of the same age.
Between the ages of 30-40 the gap is less – at 10 percent – whereas, between 40-50, the pay gap widens again, with female seniors earning 20.5 percent less than their male peers.
Major variations in finance industry salaries across Europe
The regional difference in average salaries for finance roles between the UK and the rest of Europe has narrowed compared with 2021. Average yearly salaries by country shows:
- Average salary per year in France is £74,000/€87,000, whereas the UK boasts the highest in the region at £105,000/€122,500.
- Overall highest average salary still remains in the US, with almost £151,000/€175,000 per year, which is 43 percent higher than the UK.
- Germany follows the UK in Europe at almost £97,000/€113,000, with The Netherlands close behind at £94,000/€109,500.
- Following France is Italy (£73,000/€85,000), Austria (£62,000/€73,000), Spain (£60,000/€70,000), and Portugal (£41,000/€48,000).
Despite these salary variations, almost two-thirds (65.4%) of all finance professionals surveyed feel they are fairly compensated – although there are differences of opinion between male and female employees. Just over half (55%) of men are happy with their pay, while more than two-thirds (67%) of women feel they are fairly compensated – even though on average the latter are paid less.
Reflecting on the findings, Rodolphe Ardant, Founder and CEO at Spendesk said, “The persistent gender pay gap should be a concern for all businesses, who clearly need to do more to create a fairer salary scale. It’s a particularly pressing issue now, with a tight labour market and employees in a position to demand better treatment from their employers. Employers who don’t offer fair pay and flexibility to their staff risk alienating the best and brightest talent they desperately need to ensure continued growth.”
Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview. With a master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at the University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.