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Goldman Sachs Gender Pay Gap Widens to 54% in 2023, Highest in Six Years

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Goldman Sachs UK's gender pay gap widens to 54% in 2023, marking a six-year high despite diversity efforts.

By Barry Stearns

4/3, 19:04 EDT
Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.
Morgan Stanley
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Key Takeaway

  • Goldman Sachs UK's gender pay gap widens to 54% in 2023, the highest in six years, despite efforts to improve diversity.
  • The bank acknowledges under-representation of women in senior roles but lacks actionable progress towards closing the pay gap.
  • Departures of high-profile female executives highlight potential cultural issues and challenges in retaining top female talent at Goldman Sachs.

Widening Gender Pay Gap

Goldman Sachs, a leading name on Wall Street, is poised to disclose a disconcerting trend in its UK operations: a widening gender pay gap in 2023. This development underscores a persistent challenge in promoting gender equality within the ranks of the financial giant. The mean hourly pay difference between male and female employees at Goldman Sachs International, its principal UK entity, has escalated from 53.2% in 2022 to 54% in 2023, marking the highest disparity observed over the past six years. Similarly, at Goldman Sachs Asset Management International, the gap has expanded to 54.1% from 51.3%.

Acknowledgment Without Resolution

In preparation for potential inquiries, Goldman Sachs has armed its senior executives with talking points that concede the under-representation of women in senior roles. Despite this acknowledgment, the bank's spokesperson emphasized, "Importantly, this gender pay gap report does not account for pay in similar role or tenure, but we know that we need to do more to increase representation of women at the senior-most levels of the firm." This statement, while recognizing the issue, highlights a significant gap between acknowledgment and actionable progress.

Regulatory Spotlight

Since 2017, UK regulations have mandated companies with 250 or more employees to publish their gender pay gap, shining a spotlight on corporate practices regarding gender equality. The figures from Goldman Sachs, covering approximately 4,000 of its 45,000 global employees, starkly contrast with those of its rival, Morgan Stanley, which reported a slight decrease in its gender pay gap.

High-Profile Departures

The widening pay gap at Goldman Sachs coincides with the departure of several high-profile female executives, including potential chief financial officer Beth Hammack, Dina Powell McCormick, and Stephanie Cohen. These exits may signal deeper issues within the firm's culture and its ability to retain top female talent.

Efforts and Skepticism

Goldman Sachs has publicly committed to improving gender diversity, with CEO David Solomon setting a target for women to comprise at least 40% of the bank’s vice presidents by 2025. The bank also highlighted its most diverse partner class in 2022, with women making up 29% of the group. However, these initiatives seem to fall short of addressing the systemic issues reflected in the widening pay gap, casting doubt on the effectiveness of the bank's strategies to foster a genuinely inclusive work environment.