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Men on Wall Street earn more than women a lot sooner than you think

It still pays to be a man on Wall Street

Thanks to U.K. government figures on the gender pay gap, we now know that men working for banks in London earn a lot more than women. But what about Wall Street? After decades fighting the perception of sexism on Wall Street, you might think pay on Wall Street would be more equal. You would be wrong. The latest data on the banking pay gap shows Wall Street banks have only improved on the pay discrepancy at the most junior levels. It doesn't take long before male pay takes off and female pay doesn't.

Surveying nearly 1,500 U.S. bankers employed at 33 different investment banks over four years, Wall Street Oasis found that male and female analysts take home nearly identical salaries and bonuses. Mean salaries for male and female first-year and second-year analysts were nearly identical -- within $100 of each other. Male first-year analysts reported receiving a bonus of less than $48k, up 9% from the mean female first-year analyst's nearly $44k bonus. However, the bonus numbers essentially evened out when analysts hit year two. There was less than a 1% difference.

This all changes for associates, at least when it comes to bonuses. While female associates earned a mean salary of around 3% less than their male counterparts, they took home a 42% smaller bonus. The average male associate earned, on average, a $97k bonus compared to a $68k for female associates.


It gets worse at VP level. Here, WSO found that female bankers lost out to their male colleagues both in salary and bonuses. The mean salary for a male VP was around $214k, a 30% increase over the average female VP salary of $165k, according to the report. The bonus discrepancy was similar, with male VPs taking home roughly $187k compared to $149k for their female counterparts -- a 26% difference. Looking at total compensation for VPs, men outpaced women by 29%: around $397k to $307k.

It seems, then, U.S. banks have only been successful in eliminating the gender gap at the entry level. A few years in, and it's still as big as ever.

The survey, conducted between 2014 and 2018, excluded responses from those working in operations, engineering, IT, HR, audit, wealth management, risk and back office.

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AUTHORBeecher Tuttle US Editor
  • An
    16 April 2018

    Interesting survey - would be interesting to see the figures for the areas excluded.

    Also, is there a bank by bank breakdown?

    And were any conclusions drawn as to the reasons for the differences?

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