We don’t support this browser anymore.
This means our website may not look and work as you would expect. Read more about browsers and how to update them here.

Skip to main content
  • Register
  • Help
  • Contact us
Gender Pay Gap hero

HL Gender Pay Gap Report 2022

Creating an inclusive and diverse culture is a key part of our strategy – we know this is the right thing to do for our colleagues, our clients, our community, and our business. As part of our commitment to this, we are sharing our gender pay gap figures.

We are proud of the progress we have made since sharing our first report back in 2018 but we are clear that there is still a lot more to do.

We continue to make good progress, but there is more we can do to create opportunities to hire and progress diverse talent into senior roles in our business.

To help us do this and to support our approach to building an inclusive culture more broadly, our Inclusion and Diversity strategy sets out three priority objectives:

  • To increase ethnic minority representation, recognising the need to accelerate progress in this area to better align to the local demographic
  • To maintain our commitment to increase female representation and close the gender pay gap
  • To increase the focus on building a culture of inclusion, as part of our commitment to building a market-leading culture

Whilst our GPG still reflects a gender imbalance at senior levels, we are seeing positive, steady progress in terms of increasing female representation. We are a growing business and we therefore have a significant opportunity to recruit and progress diverse talent throughout HL – every hiring and promotion decision is an opportunity to drive change.

We have seen significant progress in female representation at Board and Executive Committee level and are now focused on ensuring that we drive this progress further down in the organisation to create long term change, in particular with our mid-level talent pipeline.

For my part, I will continue to lead our approach as the Exco member responsible for inclusion and diversity, and as sponsor of the Gender Diversity Network to promote, empower, support and challenge towards gender equality.


Deanna Oppenheimer

I’m proud to chair a Board which is committed to diversity and inclusion. Diversity is a far wider subject than just gender and embracing difference is at the heart of how we look after the differing needs of our clients.

DEANNA OPPENHEIMER, Non-executive chair

Understanding the pay gap

From April 2018, UK employers with more than 250 staff have been required to publish their Gender Pay Gap (GPG) data under The Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017. This is HL’s fifth GPG report, covering pay at HL on the snapshot date of 5 April 2021.

The GPG measures the difference between men and women’s earnings across the business by expressing the percentage difference between men and women’s average pay.

For example, if the average man’s pay was £20 per hour and average woman’s pay was £17 per hour, women would earn 85% of the amount men earn, giving a gender pay gap of 15%.

This is different to equal pay which refers to men and women receiving equal pay for equal work. HL has a clear, fair, and bias-free approach to pay and we operate on an equal pay basis across the company.

Examples of our progress to date

  • Commitment from the Board and senior leadership to fairness, equality, diversity and inclusion, including an improved inclusion and diversity strategy
  • The HL plc Board has a female Chair, a female Chief Financial Officer and Executive Director, and three other female Non-executive Directors
  • One of 47 companies in the FTSE 100 to be at or above a 40% target for Women on Boards
  • The Board meets the Parker Review recommendation for FTSE 100 Boards to have at least one director from an ethnic minority background by 2021
  • HL is a member of the 30% club and has signed the Women in Finance Charter, both committing to increase the number of women in senior positions
  • A member of the BBC’s 50:50 The Equality Project
  • Launched a partnership with Women on Boards

The gender pay gap at HL

When comparing the average pay, two types of measure are used. The "median” is the "middle" value in a list of numbers. If all HL colleagues lined up in a female line and a male line, in order of pay from highest to lowest, the median gender pay gap compares the pay of the female in the middle of their line to the pay of the middle man. The "mean" is where you add up all the rates of pay and then divide by the number of people.

The data provided is accurate and has been independently reviewed.

Pay and bonus gap difference between male and female UK colleagues - 2022 report (data as at 5 April 2021)

Mean (%) Median (%)
Hourly rate of pay 4.3 14.5
Bonus pay 64.0 43.7

Proportion of male and female UK colleagues in each pay quartile

Male Female
Upper quartile 76% 24%
Upper middle quartile 61% 39%
Lower middle quartile 61% 39%
Lower quartile 53% 47%

We’re pleased to share that we’ve reduced our Mean GPG, Median GPG and Median Bonus Gap year-on-year.

Our Mean GPG has reduced significantly from 17.6% to 4.3%, due in part to changes to the makeup of the HL plc Board, where a high hourly rate for Non-executive Directors has translated into a high impact. We’re pleased with this direction of travel and are aware that there is more progress to be made across all levels of seniority, rather than just in senior positions.

Our Median GPG continues to improve year-on-year, from 19.1% to 14.5%, with continued positive movement since the figures from 2018.

The Median Bonus Gap has reduced every year since the introduction of GPG reporting and is now more than 40% lower than it was in 2017.

The Mean Bonus Gap, which measures the amount of bonus paid to men and women across HL, has widened slightly, by 1.2% in the last year.

Bonus payments

The proportion of male colleagues receiving a bonus has slightly fallen over the year to 72.5% in 2021, whilst female colleagues receiving a bonus has fallen slightly to 66.1%.

This means that the female/male ratio reduced to 91% and is impacted by the proportion of females and males joining in the last quarter of the year, and therefore not being eligible for a bonus.

Proportion of eligible males/females who received a bonus

Proportion of males/females who received a bonus payment

Why there is a gender pay gap

We have a greater proportion of men in senior roles as you can see below. These senior roles have higher salaries and higher bonuses. Therefore, the average amount men are paid is higher.

Proportion of male and female UK colleagues per role level

As at 5 April 2021

Our GPG figures are not the result of an equal pay issue, instead they reflect the higher proportion of men in senior and higher-paying roles.

There are a number of reasons why gender pay gaps have happened over time. We know that in the past there have been greater numbers of men working in the financial services, fintech and tech industries compared to women and this has led to disproportionate numbers of men in senior roles – we can see this is also true of HL.

We want to do more to create opportunities for women, and other members of protected characteristics groups, to move on to more senior roles. Our Inclusion and Diversity Strategy and accompanying action plan focuses on building a diverse and inclusive workforce which will support the reduction in our gender pay gap over time.

Planned actions include:

  • Training - training around inclusive recruitment and inclusive team working to ensure we have managers with the knowledge and skills to support our inclusive culture
  • Recruitment - targeted campaigns and more early careers entry points into the organisation to access a broader and more diverse pool of talent
  • Partnerships – initiate and sponsor partnerships that align with our priorities such as Women Ahead and Women on Boards
  • Data and insight – collect and analyse data that helps us identify barriers and create forums for senior leaders to hear directly about the experiences of women at HL
  • Networks – our employee networks aim to create a workspace where all gender identities are value equally and to raise the confidence of women to progress their careers
Diversity and inclusion are extremely important to me.

I believe in building a culture and environment that attracts, values and retains people from all walks of life, regardless of background and beliefs. The diversity of thought, experience and creativity will help us to understand and serve our increasingly diverse range of clients.

CHRIS HILL, CEO and executive committee member responsible for our Inclusion and Diversity Strategy

We are committed to closing our gender pay gap and striving for greater gender equality at all levels of our business.

Our Inclusion and Diversity strategy and action plan outline the steps we need to take to increase female representation and to build an inclusive and fair culture. We have made progress in increasing senior female representation in recent years and our focus now is on continuing this momentum and ensuring it is replicated at all levels of the organisation.

ROB DIVALL, Chief People Officer