Women working in the finance sector are earning up to 60% less than their male colleagues, an equalities report suggests.
According to the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), the pay gap is more than twice the national average despite an equal number of working men and women.
It says in 2007/8 70% of men in the sector earned more than £29,400, while 70% of women earned less that £29,500.
Women working in the fund management, stock broking and futures trading arenas suffer the most, it concludes.
The report, which is the first stage of the EHRC's inquiry into pay in the finance sector, also revealed 28% of those working in professional occupations in the financial sector are women, compared with 43% in the economy as a whole.
Meanwhile, 11% of senior managers are women compared to 28% in the economy as a whole.
Trevor Philips, chair of the commission says the figures are shocking and indicate how serious the pay gap has become in the financial sector.
"The truth is that however you look at the numbers, women do not have equal status or equal rewards," he says.
"Nobody wants this kind of unfairness, including the business themselves. We are losing or not taking advantage of talented women from a crucial industry - something we can ill afford in these troubled times."
Philips says they are calling on the government to take significant steps towards addressing gender pay gaps in the upcoming Equality Bill.
"The government has already said it will increase transparency by banning 'gagging' clauses, which prevent people discussing their pay, but we also want the government to ask larger companies to have a much more transparent approach to the pay gap," he says.
What made financial headlines over the weekend?
Pensions neglect to be criminal offence
All-day event on 24 April
Consequences could be more severe than in stress tests
AFH has six segregated mandate funds