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London Business School: ‘We can do better on gender pay gap’

Francois Ortalo-Magne, dean of London Business School that always says how it is conquering gender bias, recently reported a problem with the gender pay gap.

London Business School is one of the leading educational institutions in the world and proudly showcases its diverse staff from 25 different countries, while teaching the future business leaders all about inclusion and diversity. Still, it has a rather large bias shifted towards men, when it comes to remuneration. Male employees of this schools earn (on average) 23% more than their female counterparts. If we compare only the faculty’s salaries, the gap is somewhat narrower – only 14%. Anyway, it’s bigger than anywhere else in the UK: usually the average gender pay gap is no wider than 9.7%, FT reports.

Gender Bias Problem at LBS

It’s a special problem for London Business School, as it’s the UK’s only standalone: the other business schools report their gender pay gap data together with their universities. Of course, Francois Ortalo-Magne may not be to blame: he became the dean just recently, and his predecessor was dean for ten years. Still, Mr. Ortalo-Magne assures that the school ‘can do better’. He believes that the huge gender pay gap at his school is due to the institution having many finance teachers, most of whom are men (and they all receive a bigger salary than the others). According to AACSB, the accreditation organization for business schools, finance teachers earn almost 30% more than other faculty. An independent salary audit ruled that there was no gender pay gap, if the salaries get compared according to experience and achievements of the staff.

Mr. Ortalo-Magne said that the schools has not only male finance teachers – there are some female ones. Still, the vast majority of them are older males.

Are There Any Positive Changes?

London Business School prides itself on its study of diversity, inclusion and equality. The research conducted by the school’s faculty revealed many types of unconscious biases against women in companies. The Dean himself says that women are less prone to take a risk when negotiating their salary. One of his female employees decided to discuss a pay raise only after her husband talked her into doing it.

Anyway, gender imbalance does not stop at the pay gap: for female professors, it’s extremely difficult to get a tenure when they have to compete against male PhDs. Additionally, they are often shunned by serious academic journals, especially if they work in the fields of finance or economics.

Among the changes that London Business School implemented to fight the gender bias are quotas for at least one women in the list of new faculty appointments. Still, it may not prove to be possible, as most of this school’s faculty are professors in finance, and among them, only two are women. Mr. Ortalo-Magne created a new job called Director of inclusivity and diversity, whose task is to find unconscious bias and promote equality. However, the new director – Hamid Senni – is a man, like the dean himself. Still, the dean assures that this was purely coincidental.

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