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Female salaries and careers in British banking, 1915–41

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  • Seltzer, Andrew J.

Abstract

Women were first employed in large numbers by the British banking industry during the First World War, and were an essential part of the industry's labour force thereafter. During the interwar period, women were often confined to routine back office positions, and could not advance past the level of clerk. Evidence from Williams Deacon's Bank shows that the salaries of younger women were very similar to their male counterparts; however, an ever-widening gender pay gap emerged after about 5years seniority. The main reasons for this pay gap were higher exit rates for women, largely due to marriage bars, and lower returns to seniority. Promotion restrictions, though ubiquitous, account for a relatively small proportion of the gender pay gap. Despite the pay gap, the marriage bar, and the lack of promotion opportunities, a sizable proportion of female clerks were very loyal to the Bank and remained for 10 or more years. This was due to the absence of better opportunities elsewhere in the labour market.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Explorations in Economic History.

Volume (Year): 48 (2011)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 461-477

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Handle: RePEc:eee:exehis:v:48:y:2011:i:4:p:461-477

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622830

Related research

Keywords: Salaries; Gender pay gap; Discrimination; Banking; Clerical sector;

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Cited by:
  1. Joyce Burnette, 2012. "Testing for Wage Discrimination in U.S. Manufacturing," Working Papers 12-23, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  2. Seltzer, Andrew, 2012. "The Impact of Female Employment on Male Wages and Careers: Evidence from the English Banking Industry, 1890-1941," IZA Discussion Papers 6663, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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