The Gender Gap: which of Paris or London is the friendliest to women bankers?

Careers in the financial services industry are not usually deemed to be "women friendly ". As a reminder, women represent 13% of executive managers in the sector, 9% of executive committees and 0 % of CEOs, according to a McKinsey study, 2012.

In Paris, a female Associate in Investment Banking will receive on average a bonus 2x lower than their male counterparts'.

The widest gap is observed at Vice-President (VP) level with a 64% difference between bonuses. The gap however narrows at Director and Managing Director levels, which is a comfort of sorts.

London treats women bankers more fairly. Not only does the City offer more professional opportunities, the British financial market is fairer to women when it comes to compensation: across all titles, the difference in bonuses is 26% (vs. 37% in Paris); in terms of base salary, the gap in London is 5% (vs. 13% in Paris).

Why does such a gap still exist? A few lines of enquiry: women are more loyal to their employers, therefore less likely to demand higher pay for retention. Women are also less likely to be demanding and ask for better compensation outright, and also are usually less able to weigh in when it comes to office politics. The latter is crucial, as bonus distribution is opaque and sometimes arbitrary.

* The study was conducted using data collected directly from over 4,000 front office Investment Bank & Markets professionals from January 2013 to March 2014 in Paris and London. The figures are the median salaries and bonuses.

Paris   London   
 Women Men Women Men 
 Base SalaryBonusBase SalaryBonusBase Salary BonusBase SalaryBonus
Director101,00073,000120,00079,000165,000 89,000180,000120,000



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