The 5th of April 2018 marks the end of the first year of disclosures under the new UK gender pay gap reporting requirements. Just over 10,000 companies employing more than 250 people in England, Scotland and Wales have disclosed their figures, although reportedly more than 500 are yet to publish and may face possible fines and reputational damage. Below is an analysis of the gender pay disclosures for companies in the retail sector, based on a a group consisting of the 50 largest retailers in the UK, including how the disclosures in this group compare to the wider UK disclosures.
The pay and bonus gaps across the top 50 retailers are, in general, comparable with the pay gaps seen across other industries. The median mean pay gap for all UK companies is around 14% compared to around 13% in retail (figure 1).
Figure 1: Pay gap analysis – This chart shows the median and quartile range of mean and median pay gaps in large retailers compared to all UK companies.
Figure 2: Bonus gap analysis – This chart shows the median and quartile range of mean and median bonus gaps in large retailers compared to all UK companies.
The median mean bonus gap for all UK companies is around 36% compared to around 44% in retail (figure 2).
Many of the retailers we considered have a high proportion of women in the workforce than men (figure 3), however these women are disproportionately represented in lower skills and lower paid areas of the industry, and underrepresented in technical areas.
Figure 3: Proportion of men – This chart shows how the mean pay gap links to the proportion of men in each large retail company.
Figure 4: Number of employees – This chart shows how mean pay gaps in large retail companies compare in different size organisations, based on the number of employees.
It should be noted that we know from additional disclosure in a number of retailers that the gap is also driven by individual career and lifestyle choices, for example take up rates for unsociable hours work such as night or weekend shift patterns.
Pay gaps are primarily driven by the relatively low number of women in senior roles in retailers in the UK. Of the largest 50 retailers, almost all have a quartile index above zero, showing that in general there is a higher proportion of men paid above the median than in the overall workforce (figure 5). This is a challenge that is recognised by the industry and discussed in many retailers’ additional voluntary disclosure, with many retailers launching specific initiatives, such as mentoring schemes, internally to address this issue.
Figure 5: Seniority of men – This chart shows how the mean pay gap links to the relative seniority of men implied by the quartile disclosures (quartile index).
Comparator group based on a bespoke group of 50 large retailers. This analysis excludes any company with a pay gap above 100%. Bonus gap analysis excludes companies with either no men or no women receiving a bonus, as a gap is not possible to calculate. The quartile index shows the relative distribution of men and women in the quartile ranges. A positive value indicates that there is a higher proportion of men in the upper and upper middle quartiles compared to the overall workforce.