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Female salaries and careers in British banking, 1915–41

  • Seltzer, Andrew J.

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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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0014498311000064
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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
DOI: 10.1016/j.eeh.2011.03.001
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622830

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  1. Oaxaca, Ronald, 1973. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(3), pages 693-709, October.
  2. Alan S. Blinder, 1973. "Wage Discrimination: Reduced Form and Structural Estimates," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 8(4), pages 436-455.
  3. Burnette,Joyce, 2008. "Gender, Work and Wages in Industrial Revolution Britain," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521880633, Junio.
  4. Murphy, Kevin M & Welch, Finis, 1990. "Empirical Age-Earnings Profiles," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(2), pages 202-29, April.
  5. Lazear, Edward P, 1979. "Why Is There Mandatory Retirement?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1261-84, December.
  6. Seltzer, Andrew J. & Simons, Kenneth L., 2001. "Salaries and Career Opportunities in the Banking Industry: Evidence from the Personnel Records of the Union Bank of Australia," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 195-224, April.
  7. Jacob Mincer, 1958. "Investment in Human Capital and Personal Income Distribution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66, pages 281.
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