Guardian reports 11.3% gender pay gap

Difference between men and women in editorial is 7.4%

The gender pay gap at Guardian News & Media is 11.3% – calculated by mean hourly pay – the company has reported as part of the government’s compulsory gender pay gap initiative.

GNM said 65% of its top-paid workers are men, while 57% of the lowest paid are women. The pay gap is similar to the BBC, where women earn an average of 10.7% less. Earlier on Wednesday, ITN reported a 19.6% mean pay gap.

When the GNM figures are broken down between editorial and non-editorial roles, they show a gender pay gap in editorial of 7.4%. The figure widens in non-editorial roles, where the hourly pay gap is 17.2%.

What is the gender pay gap?

The gender pay gap is the difference between the average hourly earnings of men and women. The figure is expressed as a proportion of men’s earnings. According to the ONS, the gap between what UK male and female workers earn – based on median hourly earnings for all workers – was 17.9% in April 2018, down from 18.4% in April 2017. Data in 2018 showed that men were paid more than women in 7,795 out of 10,016 companies and public bodies in Britain.

What is being published?

All companies and some public sector bodies in Great Britain, except Northern Ireland, with more than 250 employees had to report their gender pay gap to the Government Equalities Office for the first time by by 4 April 2018. The second year of gender pay gap reports  - and the first indicator of how public bodies and companies are performing - must be filed by April 2019

What’s the difference between the mean and the median figures?

Commonly known as the average, the mean is calculated by adding up the wages of all employees and dividing that figure by the number of employees. The mean gender pay gap is the difference between mean male pay and mean female pay.

The median gap is the difference between the employee in the middle of the range of male wages and the employee in the middle of the range of female wages. Typically the median is the more representative figure, because the mean can be skewed by a handful of highly paid employees.

What will happen if companies don’t report?

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) said that, while it would approach employers informally at first if they failed to publish figures by the deadline, businesses could ultimately face “unlimited fines and convictions”. However, information published following a freedom of information request by the Guardian showed that no companies have been fined to date despite hundreds failing to accurately file their gender pay gap figures on time.

In a joint statement, Katharine Viner, the editor-in-chief, and David Pemsel, the chief executive, said their aim was to achieve a 50:50 gender balance in the top half of the organisation within five years.

Viner and Pemsel said the 50:50 balance would be achieved by developing, promoting and recruiting more women at every level. Initiatives include fast-tracking women’s progression in middle and senior management roles, and offering a mentoring scheme for all women. Each member of the GNM executive committee will have a personal objective and a departmental plan relating to diversity and gender pay.

They also said: “GNM’s gender pay gap is lower than the current Office for National Statistics average, but that is not good enough and we aim to reduce it further.”

Viner and Pemsel said the gap was driven by two main factors: more men in the highest paid and most senior roles; and more women in lower paid administration, sales and marketing roles.

“While this is the case at many organisations and reflects society more broadly, it does not make it acceptable. More must be done to improve women’s representation and ensure there are opportunities for everyone at GNM to progress. Within five years we aim to achieve a 50:50 gender balance in the top half of the organisation. This is an ambitious goal but one we will strive to achieve,” they said.

Across GNM, the median pay difference, which takes the mid-point when all wage rates are lined up from the biggest to smallest – which reduces the impact of one-off outliers – is wider, at 12.1%. The figure for non-editorial is 18.2%, and nearly 9% in editorial.

Among those who received bonuses, however, women received an average 74% more than men. Of the 218 bonuses paid in the past year most were sales commissions paid to sales staff – a combination of men and women – with about 40 smaller awards made to the all-male print site technicians.

Elsewhere in the UK media sector, women earn 18% less than men on average at Trinity Mirror, which owns the Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror and Sunday People, where 69% of the top-paid workers are men. ITN, which makes the news for ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5, on Wednesday revealed a 19.6% pay gap with 65.5% of its top-paid workers being men.

All private and public sector organisations and charities with more than 250 employees are required to submit their pay figures to the government by April under a new scheme intended to reveal differences in average pay for men and women. About 2,100 have filed figures so far, but the legislation is expected to affect about 9,000 companies, which collectively employ more than 15 million people.

The gender pay gap refers to the difference between what men and women working for an organisation earn regardless of their roles, rather than men and women in the same role.

The Co-operative Bank, easyJet and Virgin Money are among those that have revealed a double-digit gap in the mean hourly pay rates between male and female workers.

The biggest pay gap reported so far is at fashion chain Phase Eight, where women earn an average 65% less an hour than men. The travel group Tui has the largest gender pay gap reported to date by a major UK company, with its male employees paid more than double the female staff.


Sarah Butler and Mark Sweney

The GuardianTramp

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