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Goldman Sachs' Female Staff In UK Earn 56% Less Than Men

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) pays women in the U.K. an average of 56 percent less than male colleagues. The gap widens to 72 percent for year-end discretionary bonuses. The pay gap at Goldman Sachs and rival firms points to the high concentration of men in senior and lucrative positions within the industry.

Goldman Sachs said in a memo to staff Thursday that it is committed to having women represent 50 percent of global talent over time. An important first step is to have women make up 50 percent of incoming analyst class - and it is working to achieve this goal by 2021. In addition, we are working to increase the number of women and diverse professionals who join firm through lateral hiring efforts.

"We also need to hold ourselves accountable to providing more opportunities for women and diverse professionals to rise to the highest levels of our firm," Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein and Solomon wrote in the memo.

The disparity in average U.K. pay at Goldman Sachs is narrower than at HSBC Holdings Plc, where women were paid an average 59 percent less than male employees. The national average pay gap is about 18 percent, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Goldman Sachs said in Thursday's memo that it pays men and women equally, when comparing similar roles and performance.

"We are a meritocracy, and gender is not a factor in the way that we pay our people," the bank said in a statement on its website Friday. "We pay women and men in the same way, using the same compensation criteria, including the nature of their role and their performance."

All companies with more than 250 U.K. employees have to disclose their gender pay gaps by April 4. As of Friday, only about 2,700 of an expected 9,000 companies had submitted data to the government website. Among large companies, HSBC, the U.K.'s biggest bank, has so far reported the highest mean gender pay gap. The privately-owned fashion retailer Phase Eight is higher still at 65 percent.

UBS last week reported an average gender pay gap of 31 percent for its U.K.-based employees, while BNP Paribas SA reported 38 percent.

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