City Firms Must Reveal Pay Rates in War on 42% Gender Gap; Sexism in the City: Banker Julie Bower Was Given the Message She Was Not Valued, a Tribunal Ruled

Article excerpt

Byline: PAUL WAUGH

MINISTERS declared war on "sexism in the City" today as research showedmen in the financial sector are paid an average of 42 per cent more than theirfemale colleagues.

London's financial industry will be forced to expose the gender pay gap as partof sweeping changes included in a new equality Bill.

Under the plans unveiled by women's minister Harriet Harman:

Firms will no longer be allowed to impose "gagging clauses" preventingemployees revealing their salaries.

All companies given public sector contracts will have to publish the payrates of men and women.

The City will face a full-scale investigation into sexist differences in payrates by the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

Square Mile and Canary Wharf firms will have to voluntarily publish totalbonuses for the two sexesor face new Companies Act powers to compel them to do so.

The Bill, due in the autumn, is seen by Gordon Brown as a valuable part of histwo-year fightback against the Tories. By including new rights for the elderlyto fair NHS treatment with the commitment to women, it is seen as key topersuading voters the Prime Minister is prepared to be radical.

The Bill will let employers discriminate in favour of ethnic minorities whentwo job candidates are of equal ability. It replaces nine major pieces oflegislation and around 100 other measures, from the 1970 Equal Pay Act to the2005 Disability Discrimination Act. …