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From Pin Money to Fat Cats: Pay Inequalities in the FTSE 100

‘From Pin Money to Fat Cats: Pay Inequality in the FTSE 100’ released by The Equality Trust

On the 49th anniversary of the passage of The Equal Pay Act 1970 (Wednesday 29th May), The Equality Trust releases a groundbreaking report ‘From Pin Money to Fat Cats: Pay Inequality in the FTSE 100’, an analysis of the FTSE 100-owned companies on a sector-by-sector basis in terms of CEO pay ratios, gender pay gaps and gender bonus gaps. It provides a benchmark snapshot prior to the introduction of pay ratio reporting legislation and paints a depressing picture of extreme inequality in the FTSE 100-owned companies, with the CEO of Vodafone taking home a salary 390 timesthat of a Customer Service Advisor, HSBC Bank Plc reporting a gender pay gap of 61% and Quadrant Catering Ltd reporting a gender bonus gap of 100%.

The report highlights the conviction among FTSE 100 companies that despite having large gender pay gaps, there is no equal pay gap, despite using recruitment practices that have been described as a ‘high risk factor’ as identified by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC). The Equality Trust believes that the gender pay gaps at many of the FTSE 100-owned companies may be due to pay structures which are not rewarding men and women the same for work of equal value, importing benchmark salaries and a lack of transparency in starting salaries. This report follows on from The Equality Trust’s analysis on ‘Fat Cat Day’ 2019, which found that FTSE 100 women CEOs were taking home on average 54% of the salaries of their male counterparts.

The report makes several key recommendations, including amending contradictory government guidance on equal pay, urging companies to undertake equal pay audits and a call to the EHRC to undertake an investigation. The report highlights a worrying lack of understanding by the FTSE 100-owned companies of the mechanisms that give rise to unequal pay (which is unlawful) and the gender segregation, or partial gender segregation, which sees women overwhelmingly represented in low grade work – often a result of wider structural inequality and/or past discriminatory practices.

‘From Pin Money to Fat Cats’ will be launched at one the largest conferences on equal pay, launching a year-long campaign leading up to the 50th anniversary of The Equal Pay Act 1970 next year. Among those speaking at the launch will be Sam Smethers, CEO of Fawcett Society, Dr Debbie Weekes-Bernard, Deputy Mayor, Social Integration, Social Mobility, Community Engagement, Stella Creasy MP, Dr Wanda Wyporska, Executive Director, The Equality Trust, and Shakira Martin, President National Union of Students. The conference brings together academics, trade unionists (representing over 80% of the unionised workforce), business, human rights activists, campaigners and legal experts.

Dr Wanda Wyporska, Executive Director, The Equality Trust, said:

“From Pin Money to Fat Cats amply illustrates that after 49 years of legislation on equal pay, we are still falling far short of gender equality when it comes to pay and bonuses in the UK’s top companies. This really isn’t good enough, we cannot continue to treat ‘women, like men, but cheaper’. Tackling the gender pay gap and equal pay are key mechanisms for reducing inequality, which is a critical issue for our times. However, the fact that there are huge differences in bonus and pay gaps in companies owned by the same parent organisations, indicates that there is potential for change and we call upon the FTSE 100 to show bold leadership in this area.”

Colin Baines, Investment Engagement Manager, Friends Provident Foundation (report funder) said:

“The report provides much needed consistent and comparable data on executive pay ratios, gender pay gaps, Living Wage accreditation, and union recognition, allowing investors to assess FTSE100 companies and identify leaders and laggards. The differences on a same sector basis and the interplay between the indicators is notable. It is a must read for investors that integrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) into stock selection and shareholder engagement.

The business and investor case for fair pay is well established, often expressed with terms like good human capital management. But fairness and economic justice are the central issues, recent anomalies like GDP growth without wage growth, and the scale of in work poverty, cannot become normalised. Investors and businesses need to look at fair pay frameworks, Living Wage accreditation, and other mechanisms to help address it.”

Highlights from the report:

Gender Pay Gap: The top five individual companies owned by the FTSE 100

HSBC Bank Plc – 61%

TUI Airways Limited – 56.8%

Easyjet Airline Company Ltd – 54.1%

Anglo American Services (UK) Ltd – 51.9%



Gender Bonus Gap: The top five individual companies owned by the FTSE 100

Quadrant Catering Ltd -100%

WPP 2005 Ltd – 98%

Barratt Developments Plc – 91.4%

St James Group Ltd – 90.7%

Mediacom Holdings Ltd – 88.7%


·       Vodafone (CEO salary nearly £8 million) advertises for Customer Service Advisors working seven day shifts on £18,500, a ratio of 390:1.

·       Sainsbury’s (CEO remuneration £3,429,000) advertises a role at £9:20 per hour, a ratio of 204:1.

·       Lloyds Bank PLC has a gender bonus gap of over 70%.



Notes to editors:

1.     For interviews or comments please email

2.     The full report is available. It was funded by Friends Provident Foundation.

3.     The Equality Trust is the national charity that works to improve the quality of life for all by reducing social and economic inequality.

4.     The report launches a year-long campaign on equal pay by The Equality Trust and others in the run-up to the 50th anniversary of The Equal Pay Act 1970. During this time The Equality Trust will develop a dashboard incorporating the data in this report which will be updated and will incorporate pay ratio and gender pay reporting as the government sites are updated and annual reports are released.