Harriet Harman

Member of Parliament for Camberwell and Peckham. Mother of the House of Commons.

Scottish Women's Convention

On Saturday 7th March I met with the Scottish Women’s Convention in Edinburgh. The Equality and Human Rights Commission has published further details of its Formal Inquiry into sex discrimination in the financial services sector, and confirmed it will look into the gender pay gap in remuneration and pay packages - including bonuses - as well as the male dominated culture at the top of financial services, and sex discrimination.

In Scotland, women working in banking and finance companies are paid, on average, 39 per cent less than men.  Half the people who are working in the financial service sector are women. But nearly all of the bosses are men.  Boards are still mostly a no-go area for women.  We need a real overhaul of the pay and prospects of women in the finance sector.  The Equality and Human Rights Commission will be using their legal powers to investigate this. 

I just don’t believe women are less committed, less hard-working or less able than men. So they shouldn’t be paid less. As well as this inquiry by the Equality and Human Rights Commission there will be some tough measures in the new Equality Bill which will help further narrow the gender pay gap.

To read a copy of my speech please click here.

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