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M&S's Gender Pay Gap: Women earn 12.3 percent less than men

By Vivian Hendriksz


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London - Marks & Spencer has joined a growing list of fashion retailers and published its gender pay gay report ahead of the government-enforced requirement, which sees the British department store group admitting to paying its average female employee less than its average male employee.

According to the M&S Gender Pay Gap Report 2018 released on Tuesday, the mean hourly rate for its female employees is 12.3 percent less than their male counterparts. On a median basis, women are paid 3.3 percent less than men on average. Marks & Spencer attributes its pay gap to the fact that the majority of its entry-level staff are female, while men tend to dominate the most senior roles.

Marks & Spencer also reported that bonuses were found to be 53.4 percent higher (15.9 percent median) on average for men employees in comparison to bonuses for women employees. The department store chain noted that this gap reflects the fact that 77 percent of its part-time staff are female and are paid bonuses on a pro-rata basis.

Marks & Spencer publishes Gender Pay Gap as it aims to promote equality in its workplace

Approximately 72 percent of M&S overall workforce of 85,200 employees are female and 28 percent male. The majority of the women at M&S hold an entry-level role, where flexible working and part-time roles are more prevalent, added the report. 67 out of 157 store managers are women, and three women currently sit on Marks & Spencer's board. However, this means that men account for 70 percent of the retailer's 10 person board and that close to 57 percent of its senior managers are male.

Marks & Spencer gender pay gap report echoes findings released by other retailers, including White Stuff and John Lewis. Chief Executive Steve Rowe stressed that the report highlighted there is more work to be done to ensure diversity and equality in its workplace. "Although we’re proud of our work on diversity, we know there is more we can do," said Rowe in the report. "The Gender Pay Gap figures highlight two key areas – namely addressing female representation at the most senior levels of the business, and ensuring that flexible working is as accessible and relevant to our male employees as to our female colleagues."

Rowe stressed that M&S is committed to providing mentoring support for mid-senior women to help them progress their career and aims to launch job adverts which encourage employees to ask more flexible working from the start, as they are keen to show it is an important part of the company culture. Overall Marks & Spencer aims to reduce its non-demographic gender pay gap by at least 10 percent over the next two years and 25 percent by 2025 within the UK.

The UK average mean gender pay gap is 17.4 percent and the median pay gap is 18.4 percent, according to the Office for National Statistics ASHE 2017.

Photos: courtesy of Marks & Spencer

Gender pay gap
Marks and Spencer