The Big Four firm revealed that, according to the government’s methodology, the overall pay gap was 13.7%, while the bonus gap was 37.5%.
PwC said the gap was driven by having more men in senior, higher paid roles and more women in junior and administrative roles. When comparing pay on the same grade level, then it drops to 2.9%.
The firm is the first professional services firm to report under the government’s new guidelines.
Laura Hinton, head of people at PwC, said, “Publicly reporting our gender pay gap since 2014 has allowed us to understand the imbalances in our business and to do something about it, and it is encouraging to see that our gender pay gap is narrowing.
“We are confident that we pay our men and women equally for doing equivalent jobs across our business, but our gender pay gap does show us that we have more men in senior positions.
“We’re addressing this in a number of ways, including our returnship programme, reviewing our recruitment processes, making more senior jobs available as flexible or part-time, and tackling unconscious bias in the workplace.”
PwC's own research predicted that it will take 24 years to close the gender gap in the UK, driven by job differences between men and women across industries and job roles. Financial services is the sector with the largest gender pay gap at 34%.
Alastair Woods, partner in PwC’s UK reward practice, added, “For many organisations with high gender pay gaps there is clearly a reputational risk. Unless firms are able to explain both why the gap exists and what they are doing to address the underlying issues, many will see them as not providing equal opportunities - which could negatively impact potential and current employees, as well as customers.”
PwC’s research highlighted that women are still more likely to work in lower paid sectors and occupations - such as health and social work and education roles - but make up a much smaller proportion of the workforce in high paying sectors - such as financial services, mining and quarrying and electricity and gas.
Closing the gender pay gap could boost female earnings by around £85bn per year in the UK, which is an average of £6,100 per woman per year.