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Revolut, Checkout.com, Starling and majority of best-funded UK tech companies have wider gender pay gaps than national average

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The gender pay gap at 15 of the 20 best-funded UK tech companies is wider than the national average — in some cases considerably.

Across the country, companies with over 250 employees — which have been required by law to submit gender pay gap data since 2018 — pay women 9.1p less for every £1 earnt by their male counterparts. 

But in the UK tech scene, the situation is worse. 

According to the government’s latest gender pay gap filings — which were due to be filed on April 4 — UK tech darlings like neobanks Revolut and Starling, alongside many others, all had a wider gap than the national average. 

And at many of those companies, things aren’t improving. Half of them — including edtech Multiverse, financial crime company Quantexa and fintech Checkout.com — saw their pay gaps widen between 2023 filings and this year. 

Pet insurance company ManyPets was the worst performing, with a pay gap more than five times the national average. Small business neobank Allica Bank, which topped a recent Sifted list of the 100 fastest-growing startups in the UK and Ireland by revenue, was the second worst performing. 

For the second year running, only energy provider Octopus Energy had a pay gap in favour of women. 

Where are all the women leaders?

While a pay gap doesn’t necessarily mean a company pays women less for the same jobs as men — which is illegal — it does point to a lack of women in the highest-paid roles at startups. 

The gender pay gap filings this year — which show a snapshot of a company on April 5 2023 — highlight this. Less than half of the UK’s best-funded tech companies had more than 25% of roles in the highest pay quartile occupied by women.

As with the results in 2023, chip company Graphcore and VR company Improbable employ the smallest proportion of women in the highest paid roles. 

Data suggests the situation is similarly bad at early-stage startups in Europe. According to salary benchmarking platform Ravio, in 2023 women made up just 13% of the C-suite at European tech companies.

Tech’s gender diversity problem

The gender imbalance in UK tech isn’t just limited to startups. 

In VC, just 16% of general partners — the most senior roles in the industry and the people who run the firms — in Europe are women, according to Atomico’s 2023 State of European Tech report. It also found that European women-founded startups picked up just 7% of total funding in 2023 — a figure that’s increased only 2% over the past five years. 

While there’s been marked improvements from a number of UK tech companies since pay gap reporting began in 2018, the latest figures also show an industry that has stalled in its efforts to close the pay gap in recent times. 

Of the 18 companies that were also required to file gender pay gap data the previous year, 10 posted a worse pay gap this year. 

The biggest improvement was seen at SME credit card provider Capital on Tap (which has filed late the past two years) whose women employees saw the amount they earn to every £1 made by men increase from 58p to 79p. 

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