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Women from banking and financial industries earn 22% less than male colleagues

Eight out of ten UK businesses pay men more than women, with a national wage difference of 9.4%, according to a new study.

The BBC survey, based on the difference in pay between the middle-ranking woman and the middle-ranking man, remains the same level as five years ago, at almost 10% – despite efforts to promote gender equality in business.

The largest difference surfaced from the banking and finance industries, where women earn on average 22% less than their male colleagues – the gap only decreased by 0.5% over the past five years.

The data comes from 13,992 employers, publishing their gender pay gap figures online, in a government initiative to make companies more transparent around pay.

Major corporations, such as easyJet, Lloyds Bank and Savills, were identified as the primary culprits for the difference – appearing to set unambitious targets for getting women into senior positions.

Other traditionally male-dominated sectors, such as construction, have narrowed the gap by 2.7%, better than most technology companies, which saw women earn 78p for every pound a man earns.

The research also revealed the difference widening within several sectors including; education, which increased by 0.9%.

Sheila Flavell CBE, Chief Operating Officer for FDM Group, said: “Talk and pledges are one thing, but it’s clear that not enough action is being taken to address gender pay gap issues in the workplace as well as opportunities for progression, particularly into senior positions. It’s important to acknowledge that solving the gender pay gap will not happen overnight, but with a dedicated approach to diversity, equity and inclusion, businesses can close the gap over the next 5 years and avoid a repeat of these figures.“

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Cambridge comes out top for entry-level finance openings per capita 

UK financial services provider CMC Markets analysed data from major job search sites, Indeed and Linkedin, to reveal the UK cities outside of London with the least entry-level vacancies in finance roles. They have also collated cost of living data from Numbeo for these cities to complete the overall picture for decision-making. 

The data revealed, an average of 4,400 searches are made for finance jobs and other related terms in the UK monthly. However, finance graduates in some UK cities may face stiffer competition for entry-level roles in the sector.  

The worst UK cities for entry-level finance roles: 

  • Sheffield has the least entry-level finance opportunities relative to its population, with 0.15 jobs per 100,000 people.  
  • Liverpool, is the 2nd worst city to kickstart a career in finance with 0.23 jobs for every 100,000 people. 
  • Newport is the third worst city, with 0.32 entry level finance roles per 100,000 people. 
  • Swansea, ranks fourth, with 0.33 finance vacancies for every 100,000 people 
  • Cardiff has the fifth lowest entry-level finance jobs per capita, with 0.67 jobs per 100,000 people. 
  • Plymouth, has 0.76 jobs for every 100,000 people and ranks sixth on the list. 
  • Colchester has the seventh least entry-level finance jobs per capita with 0.82 jobs per 100,000 people. It is also the second most expensive city on the list, with the average monthly living costs for one person coming to £1,351.7. 
  • Bradford, is eighth on the list. 
  • Carlisle has the ninth least entry-level finance jobs per capita, with 1 job per 100,000 people.  
  • Bangor; it is also the most affordable city on the list, with average monthly costs of £997.10 for one person. 

 On the opposite end of the spectrum, Cambridge comes out top, with even more entry-level finance openings per capita than the UK’s finance capital, London (7.21 jobs per 100,000), – compared to Cambridge with 13.54 jobs per 100,000 people. However, it’s worth noting that Cambridge has a relatively high cost of living, with the average monthly cost of living for one person coming to £1,765.23, including rent for an apartment outside the city centre.  

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85% say accurate forecasting is critical to a successful performance.  

New research reveals half of senior UK finance leaders aim to increase their headcount – but 74% find it harder to recruit the right talent.  

 American Express, who carried out the survey, found 56% of finance leaders are focused on improving their finance team’s data and digital skill sets and 85% believe more accurate forecasting is critical to a successful performance.  

The survey, of senior finance decision makers at larger UK businesses, focussed on improving their finance team’s data and digital capabilities, with 56% saying these skill sets will become crucial in the next 2-5 years.  

  • 33% say better digital skills are key to improving the running of the finance function. 
  • ‘Reporting and control’ was ranked the second most time-consuming activity (36%), followed by strategic planning and financial analysis (34%).  

 Taking these factors into consideration, 83% said access to better quality data was vital to bolstering their finance function’s organisational impact.  

  Despite these challenges and against the backdrop of a challenging economy, finance leaders remain upbeat about their performance and resilience, with 88% feeling confident their teams respond well to unexpected events. 

  Stacey Sterbenz, General Manager, UK Commercial at American Express, said: “With calls from finance leaders for greater digital and analytical skills to interpret and act on organisational data, it’s clear that the finance function is evolving in response to new challenges.” 

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25% of employers report an increase in sickness absence

A new survey by WorkNest, an employment law and HR consultancy firm, has revealed the link between financial pressures and employee underperformance. The survey found that nearly half of the employers surveyed believed financial pressures were one of the main external factors impacting employee underperformance, with homeworking, childcare responsibilities, and time management also cited as key factors.

The survey also identified mental health and work-related stress as significant internal drivers of underperformance, with almost one-third of employers identifying it as a cause for concern. Additionally, ineffective leadership, poor conduct, and lack of formal training were also found to be factors affecting employee performance.

Danielle Scott, Employment Law Adviser and Solicitor at WorkNest, said that employers must recognise financial pressures due to the rising cost of living as a major factor in employee underperformance. Scott emphasized the importance of open communication and building relationships with employees to identify and address the real issues that impact their team’s performance.

Employers also expressed concern about their line managers’ ability to handle conversations about underperformance, with 27% reporting that they had provided inadequate training. The impact of mishandled conversations can be significant, with 25% of employers finding that grievances crop up out of the blue or see an increase in sickness absence.

Scott added that employers must take action by providing line managers with training and guidance on how to address these situations. Regular reviews with an employee on performance management can increase employee engagement and motivation while providing clarity on individual and team objectives. Line managers can also identify training gaps and development opportunities for team members requiring extra support.

The survey’s findings highlight the need for employers to recognize and address the external and internal factors impacting employee performance. By prioritizing open communication, providing adequate training, and regularly reviewing employee performance, employers can improve productivity and reduce the risk of grievances and absenteeism.

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Accounting is the most desirable financial sector to work in

A new study from CMC Markets, an online trading platform, analysed monthly Google searches using Ahrefs for jobs within the financial industry to see which career is the most in demand. They also extracted the number of UK-based listings for each finance role from the job site Indeed during the month of December 2022.


Rank Job Title Total global Google searches 
1 Auditor 222,500
2 Actuary 166,600
3 Corporate banking 96,280
4 Bank teller 43,250
5 Forensic accounting 39,650
6 Compliance officer 35,170
7 Client advisor 29,080
8 Loan officer 22,950
9 Branch manager 18,560
10 Risk manager 17,430

The survey revealed that searches for ‘auditor’ ranked number one on the list with 222,500 monthly Google searches. People are searching 5,000 times on average a month for ‘auditor jobs’ and 500 times for ‘auditor careers’. There are currently 785 auditor jobs in the finance sector on Indeed.

It was reported that actuarial careers came closely behind as the second most sought-after job in finance with a combined 166,600 searches per month for ‘actuary careers’ and ‘actuary jobs’. An actuary was the only career within the insurance sector to make it into the top ten. There are currently 1,030 actuary jobs within the finance sector on Indeed.

The third most desirable finance career is corporate banking which amassed a total of 96,280 Google searches per month, 1,200 of which were for the search term ‘corporate banking jobs’. There are currently 3,748 corporate banking jobs on Indeed.

Another banking career took the fourth spot with bank teller totalling 43,250 Google searches every month, 12,000 of these monthly searches were for ‘bank teller jobs’. At present, there are only 35 bank teller jobs on Indeed.

In fifth place came forensic accounting with 39,650 Google searches per month and the sixth most in demand career in finance was a compliance officer with 35,170 monthly Google searches.

Despite being one of the ten most desirable finance jobs, forensic accounting only yields 64 job openings in the UK, according to Indeed. On the other hand, there are currently 6,685 compliance officer openings in the UK on Indeed.

With 29,080 Google searches a month, a client advisor was the seventh most searched for finance career and there are 811 job openings for client advisor roles on Indeed.

Loan officers and branch managers occupied the eighth and ninth place on the list with 22,950 and 18,560 monthly Google searches respectively. There are 1,744 roles on Indeed for both loan officers and branch managers in the UK. 

The research found that the tenth most in demand job in finance is a risk manager with 17,430 monthly Google searches. There are currently 5,259 job openings on Indeed for risk manager roles in the UK. 

Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets commented: “Despite the scarcity of jobs in some industries, it seems that there is a noticeable interest within different sectors of the finance world. It is interesting to see that a large proportion of this number is made up of searches related to the banking sector. And as a whole, financial careers are being searched for 2,935,840 times per month on Google.”

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Or is it rather a four-day work gimmick?  

News agencies have reported on the results of the four-day work week trial and apparently it’s been a resounding success.  

A total of 61 British companies adopted a four-day week for the second half of 2022, with almost 3,000 staff involved and has been trialled for six months.  

The landmark research project run in by the University of Cambridge and Boston College has found that, on average, businesses adopting a four-day working pattern increased their revenues by more than a third. It’s also been said that it improved happiness and lower stress levels among the participating staff. 

 At least 56 businesses said they would continue with the programme, with 18 saying they will adopt the new policy permanently. Only three opted to scrap the scheme at the end of the pilot. 

 It comes amid a fierce debate about how to solve Britain’s long-running productivity crisis. 

Supporters of the four-day week have claimed that has incentivised staff to do more in a shorter period of time but a previous study has suggested that it can in fact make employees less productive and could tip staff towards burnout.  

 According to the Cambridge study, businesses generated 1.4pc more revenue at the end of a six-month trial than they did at the start. 

But when scientists compared the six-month window with a distinct and comparable half-year span they found the four-day work week saw an increase in revenue of 34.5pc. 

Campaigners and academics will present the findings to MPs at an event in the House of Commons today as they claim this is a “major breakthrough” for productivity and the way we work.  

The event is being chaired by Labour MP and former shadow chief secretary to the Treasury Peter Dowd, who introduced the 32-Hour Working Week Bill in October. 

The bill which would reduce the maximum working week from 48 hours to 32 hours, paving the way for a four-day week. 

Employers had to make sure there was no reduction in wages for staff who took part in trialling a 32-hour week. 

At least 56 out of the 61 firms which took part said they plan to continue with the four-day working week, including based in London. 


The research carried out based on the trial has revealed that the number of sick days taken by the 2,900 staff fell by about two-thirds, with 39% of employees saying they were less stressed. 

Marcus Beaver, UKI Country Leader at Alight Solutions commented: “We knew that the four-day work week would increase employee happiness and reduce burnout – now we have the proof that it has tangible business benefits. It’s clear that it’s not about cramming more work in fewer days. It’s about producing better results with the days we’re given. Companies depend on their staff, and with boosted productivity and profits, the system clearly benefits employees and employers.  

“The workforce landscape is changing, and companies must now implement what works best moving forward, or risk being in the past.” 

 Laura Baldwin, President at O’Reilly commented: “When it comes to work schedules, what people really care about is flexibility. It’s not about fourdays or five. Either is still very prescriptive and doesn’t account for the varied reasons many employees want flexibility – for example, to manage five-day-a-week school pick up hours. For the burnt out, overworked employees who went above and beyond during the pandemic, fewer hours, worked flexibly across five days is likely to mean more than a fourday slog.  

“For businesses, the fourdayweek can also create complicated scheduling nightmares – especially for smaller organisations. There needs to be more effort invested in creating real cultures of flexibility, which can best serve employees without forgetting the needs of customers. 

“Quite simply, customers expect (at least) a five-day-a-week service and until every organisation moves to fourdays as standard there will be a very hard balancing act to cut to four. Dropping the ball on customer experience to pay lip service to flexibility is a losing strategy for all. 

“If you’re thinking about a fourdayworkweek, use it as a prompt to ask, what is it that you are really trying to solve? Are you trying to create a shortcut to flexibility? Will this rather drastic move really create the flexibility your employees want? Will it enable work-life balance, but also get the work done? Could it be you are looking for a sticking plaster to bigger issues? Rather than embracing trust and flexibility for your teams, are you just seeking another way to exert control behind a facade of a fourday gimmick?” 

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UK narrowly avoids recession again

According to the ONS latest labour market report, the UK employment rate was estimated at 75.6% in October to December 2022. That equates to increase in employment of 0.2%. The increase in employment over the latest three-month period is said to have been driven by part-time workers.

The report has revealed that the number of payrolled employees for January 2023 has also increased. It’s up 102,000 on the revised December 2022 figures, to 30 million.

The unemployment rate for October to December 2022 has however, increased by 0.1% on the quarter, to 3.7%. This figure is driven by people aged 16 to 24 years. Those unemployed for over six, and up to 12, months also increased, while those unemployed for over 12 months decreased in the recent period.

Talk of a recession has dominated the news but the latest figures show that the economic inactivity rate decreased by 0.3% on the quarter, to 21.4% in October to December 2022.

The ONS has stated that flows estimates between July to September 2022 and October to December 2022 show that there was a record-high net flow out of economic inactivity, driven by people moving from economic inactivity to employment. This is great news for the labour market as job posts, although decreasing online, remain at record highs.

In November 2022 to January 2023, the estimated number of vacancies fell by 76,000 on the quarter to 1,134,000, the seventh consecutive quarterly fall since May to July 2022. The fall in the number of vacancies reflects uncertainty across industries, as survey respondents continue to cite economic pressures as a factor in holding back on recruitment.

Growth in average total pay (including bonuses) was 5.9% and growth in regular pay (excluding bonuses) was 6.7% among employees in October to December 2022. For regular pay, this is the strongest growth rate seen outside of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic period. Average regular pay growth for the private sector was 7.3% in October to December 2022, and 4.2% for the public sector; outside of the height of the coronavirus pandemic period, this is the largest growth rate seen for the private sector.

In real terms (adjusted for inflation), growth in total and regular pay fell on the year in October to December 2022, by 3.1% for total pay and by 2.5 for regular pay. This is smaller than the record fall in real total pay seen in February to April 2009 (4.5%), but remains among the largest falls in growth since comparable records began in 2001.

James Reed, Chairman,, commented: “The job market remains healthy despite talk of Britain only narrowly avoiding a recession. A key factor driving the boost in job applications that we are seeing is the cost-of-living crisis. People are recognising that one way in which they can secure a pay rise is to move jobs.

“Interestingly, while wage growth remains stable across the jobs market, it is blue-collar roles; jobs that cannot afford such flexibility with remote working, that are seeing the biggest growth in pay. This January, comparing year-on-year, it is customer service and engineering roles that have experienced the most significant pay hikes – up 9.8% and 7.8%, respectively.

“This trend suggests an ‘in-person premium’ when it comes to pay – with organisations having to boost salaries to attract people to roles that cannot provide the flexibility now associated with the white-collar market.”

 Chris Gray, ManpowerGroup UK Director, said: “The UK labour market continues to be very tight and also very resilient. Employers are for now shrugging off the concerns of an economic slowdown but for those looking to hire it remains very tough. Job vacancy levels remain high at around 1.1 million although having reduced a little over the month which points to a slight cooling in demand.

“Pressures on household spending show little sign of easing up – regular pay has fallen by 2.5% when taking inflation into account returning a wage growth average of 6.7% and will be front of mind for both employers and workers alike.

“We’ve heard The Chancellor already outline plans to encourage more over 50s back into the workforce. Money and costs may be a motivator for some over 50s but social stigma also presents a challenge for many within this age group. We have to create the right working environment to overcome some of these issues with more flexibility offered and ensure that employers are listened to, and better accommodate, the needs of this demographic in the workplace. It’s a particularly complex area and there is no silver bullet, but employers and government must work closely together to find the best solutions.”

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More than a quarter a seeking help to cope with stress

Financial worries are top the list of factors affecting workers’ productivity. This is according to a new survey conducted by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. The survey revealed that almost one-third of workers (approximately 8.2 million people) said they experienced low work productivity due to financial concerns. A further 31% said that they expect a similar scenario within the next year. With the country facing a massive cost of living crisis, these figures are no surprise.

According to the study, 20% of the British public (13.4 million people) were already living in poverty in 2020/21, with 7.9 million being working-age adults. The projections were also not positive. The New Economics Forum estimates that by December 2024, 43% of UK households will not be able to afford a decent standard of living.

The survey found that 40% of workers have experienced physical and mental strain due to their financial pressures a further 32% lose sleep. In addition, a quarter of respondents reported feeling depressed.

For those who are affected mentally:

  • 26% are seeking help to cope with stress
  • 20% expect to speak to a mental health professional or receive counselling
  • 19% plan to seek advice from their GP

The mental health crisis in the UK is growing, with the waiting list for mental health patients at a record 7.2 million and a waiting time of 47 weeks, according to data from October 2022.

The British public are looking for appropriate pay increases to deal with soaring prices. The respondents were asked to choose a suitable increase from 1% to 12%.

34% said a 5% pay rise sounds ‘about right’

34% felt the same about a 10% rise

People who voted for Tories in the last election found 5% to be fair (41%)

People who voted for Labour said 10% would be appropriate (43%)

Retired Brits also agreed with the 5% rise (35%)

Jonathan Merry, CEO of, commented: “The figures paint a grim picture, but also show how much employers need to rehash their duty of care policies and refine their outreach to struggling employees. Although limited in their power, firms need to keep their ends up to support their workers in these testing times.”

Read the full article here.

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The US-based firm noted the increase in fee revenue was primarily driven by continued demand for integrated service offerings and the acquisitions of Lucas Group and Patina Solutions Group in the previous quarters

Korn Ferry a global organizational consulting firm has announced first quarter fee revenue of $695.9 million. In addition, first quarter diluted earnings per share was $1.45 and adjusted diluted earnings per share was $1.50.

Gary D. Burnison, CEO at Korn Ferry said: “I am pleased with our financial results during the fiscal first quarter. We generated $696 million in fee revenue, up 19% (24% at constant currency) year over year. Our diluted earnings per share and adjusted diluted earnings per share were $1.45 and $1.50, respectively, and our Adjusted EBITDA was $132 million, representing a 19% margin.”

“We are in a new paradigm as global organizations fight for growth and relevancy while facing economic ambiguity. Today’s workscape has never been more complex – an imbalanced labor market, skills shortage and a major shift in how and where people work. While cycles will continually change, the long-term premium on people endures. Strategy without talent is helpless and talent without strategy is hopeless. Korn Ferry is the firm that helps clients drive performance through synchronizing their organization, their strategy and their people.”

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June stats reveal lowest total vacancies this year

According to recent data from the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo), London’s recruitment activity has dropped notably. The data was provided by business intelligence specialist, Vacancysoft and revealed that June saw the lowest total of vacancies this year.

The data also revealed that after recruitment activity peaked in March, volumes have been gradually subsiding. Following reports of vacancies reaching record-breaking figures, top candidates have many job options to choose from. Some firms have simply been unable to fill their vacancies and are removing them from job boards.

Traditionally, the London economy has been reliant on Financial Services. However, with the current cost of living crisis impacting consumer spending, corporate finance is slowing down, and this industry is now falling behind Technology.

Technology companies are currently out recruiting all other sectors. Still, there are concerns that the bullish tech market may be coming to an end, with Meta reporting its first drop in advertising revenues in 18 years and the crypto market facing new lows. In addition, tech companies are laying off workers at an unprecedented rate. In just the last month, redundancies were announced by Klarna (10%), Freetrade (15%), and Hopin (30%).

The Banking sector, however, has seen the biggest growth in vacancies in 2022 compared to 2021, up 46%. So far, the fastest growing area in 2022 has been in specialist Banking roles across front and middle office, increasing by 42%. With the UK moving into a post-EU future, risk and compliance are becoming the key areas that Banks must recruit for.

Ann Swain, CEO of APSCo, commented: “While talk of the pandemic has certainly simmered, London’s economy has far from recovered. Admittedly, vacancies in the capital have shown promising signs of growth this year, however, the recent decline should be cause for concern in the current market, with talks of a potential recession in the pipeline. The UK’s post-Covid economy has been hit with employment strikes, skills shortages, Government uncertainty and a cost-of-living crisis all of which have already started to negatively impact London’s recruitment and redundancy rates.

Stability is crucial as we continue to navigate such an ambiguous market. As the trade body for the professional recruitment sector, we believe that there is more to be done to make the UK’s employment sector competitive on a global scale and redeem the capital’s status as Europe’s leading economic powerhouse.”


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