Gender pay gap at UK's biggest supermarkets is 12%

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Co-op British sourcing

Co-op has the largest average pay gap across all 10 supermarkets at 18.9%

The 10 largest UK supermarkets pay female staff 12% less on average than men, according to new gender pay gap data.

The first deadline for all companies employing 250 staff or more to submit information on their gender pay gap fell this month, with an average mean gap across all 10,000-plus businesses that complied of 14.4%.

Data across the 10 largest grocers shows a gap of just below this national average at 12%, with the 10 biggest wholesalers at 9.5% and the 10 largest fmcg suppliers at 6.6%. Across all 30 businesses, 20% paid female staff more on average.

The data does not indicate unequal rates of pay for the same work but does illustrate the broad under-representation of women in the senior grocery ranks.

At Tesco, for example, with a mean gender pay gap of 11.5% despite women making up 66.9% of the lowest pay quartile, they make up only 41% of the highest. Similarly at the Co-op - with the largest average pay gap across all 10 supermarkets at 18.9% - women make up 73.3% of the lowest paid quartile at the business and only 30.8% of the highest.

On average, the big four paid women 50.3% less in bonus pay than men, or 38.4% less across all 10 major grocers. Among suppliers that gap was 22.3% and for wholesalers 39.1%.

Though the data was a “crude measure” of gender diversity at businesses it should “act as a good wake-up call”, said Professor Sue Vinnicombe, of Cranfield School of Management.

“It is terrific that we now have the gender pay data but what now?” added Fiona Hathorn, MD at Women on Boards UK. “Over the next few years, it is vital that companies ensure they make progress on gender and inclusion.”

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