Gender pay gap at more than 500 large organisations revealed

According to the data, 80 per cent of the 527 organisations paid women less per hour on average than men 

Caroline Mortimer
Saturday 06 January 2018 22:38
The number of senior women in boardrooms has hardly changed in 10 years, analysis shows
The number of senior women in boardrooms has hardly changed in 10 years, analysis shows

There is still a large disparity between the pay of men and women at more than 500 of the UK’s large companies, new figures have revealed

Government statistics show men were paid nearly 65 per cent more per hour at the high street fashion store Phase Eight and nearly 53 per cent more per hour at budget airline EasyJet.

Organisations with 250 or more workers are obliged to publish data on the gap in pay between male and female employees and the Government has published the results from the first 527 firms to do so.

Thousands of other companies, public sector bodies and other large organisations are expected to publish their own data in the coming months.

Nearly half of the organisations pay men at least one tenth more per hour.

The figures are broken down by hourly rate to account for whether staff work full or part time.

The data covers the gender pay gap which is the discrepancy between the average wage earned by men and women at a company regardless of their position.

This is different from equal pay, which is a legal requirement that men and women be paid the same amount for equal roles.

Employers with low or no gender pay gaps include the British Museum and the armed forces which were both 0 per cent, the BBC reported.

Meanwhile, firms such as mattress retailer Sweet Dreams and nursery business Yellow Dot which pay women 46.4 per cent and 35.4 per cent more per hour respectively.

EasyJet, which has been voluntarily reporting on its pay gap since 2015, said the reason for the discrepancy was because the majority of their pilots, who tend to be better paid, are male whereas the majority of cabin crew, which tends to be a lower paid job, are female.

It said it is committed to getting more women in higher paying roles and has “a target that 20 per cent of new entrant pilots should be female by 2020”.

A statement on the Phase Eight website said: “The figures result from the fact that, as a women’s fashion retailer, the staff in our stores are overwhelmingly female, whilst our corporate head office staff (whose pay rates are typically higher) are more evenly split between men and women.

“We are confident that women and men are paid equally for doing the equivalent jobs across our business.”

A report by the Cranfield School of Management in November last year found the number of senior women in British boardrooms has barely changed in the last 10 years.

Analysis showed that the proportion of women holding the most influential non-executive positions on the boards of the UK’s top companies , such as chairman and senior independent director, was just 8 per cent – up from 6 per cent in 2007.

It did say the number of women on boards of directors of FTSE 100 companies had now reached 27.7 per cent – up from 11 per cent in 2007 – but said this rise is largely due to women being hired to part-time non-executive roles in order to meet targets.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments