Women in the City are getting a rough ride in the insurance industry, finds head hunters and acquisition brokers Seer Group.

Interviews with more than 300 women executives find they are paid on average 13% less than their male counterparts. Although a majority of those interviewed are top flight appointments, only 7% earned in excess of £50,000.

Other findings show a high proportion of women insurers are giving up the career ladder in their mid-30s.

"Many women can become so frustrated by glass ceilings, that they make a conscious decision to leave," says Jeff Bailey of Seer Group. "This seems to be most prevalent in 30-somethings who finally tire of the testosterone-charged atmosphere."

But there was some glimmer of egalaitarianism in the findings.

High-flying women who make senior management are paid on equal terms and there appears to be more women graduates entering the industry than men this year.

And where language skills are required, qualified women again outnumber their male counterparts two to one.