Blackwell’s has revealed a gender pay gap of 1.4% in favour of men, a fraction lower than last year’s 1.8% and still less than the national average of 17.9%.
The retailer’s mean gender pay gap increased and revealed its highest earners are predominantly male, with women’s mean hourly wage 12.8% lower than men's, as of 5th April 2018, compared to 11.5% the year before.
Blackwell's report said: “Our highest earners are within higher paid specialist roles particularly in the IT and Development teams and in the senior leadership teams. At the snapshot we had three male Executive Directors and two female Executive Directors.”
The number of women in the highest paid jobs has increased from 40.8% to 43%, with the number of women in the lowest paid jobs also increasing to 63.5%, compared to 58.3% the year before.
Men make up 50.9%of the upper middle quartile (44.5% in 2017) and 50.5% of the lower middle quartile (50.4% in 2017).
Blackwell’s has also eliminated the median bonus pay gap which in 2017 saw women’s median bonus pay 25.6% lower than mens. For 2018, the median bonus gap stands at 0%.
For 2018, the mean bonus gap has increased with women’s bonus pay 41.3% lower than mens compared to 0.7% lower the year before.
When it comes to bonuses, the company cut down on the number paid out with just 2.7% of women and 8.2% of men receiving bonus pay in 2018 compared to 23.7% of women and 26.5% of men in 2017.
In statement, Blackwell’s said it “remains committed to reducing” the gender pay gap. “Whilst we have equal pay throughout the organisation the gender pay gap in Blackwell's is caused by an under-representation of women at senior leadership levels and within our team of software engineers who attract higher salaries compared to our bookselling teams,: said Blackwells’. “As a traditional family firm with integrity and respect at the heart of our values, Blackwell's want to be part of the cultural change that leads to greater equality and opportunity in the workplace.”
The retailer said it faces the same challenges as other businesses “in regard to attracting women to technical roles in IT and in software development” and continues to improve its flexible working policies and practices as well as expanding formal mentoring schemes - particularly focusing on women in the two middle quartiles.
Blackwell’s says it is also reviewing all policies to ensure they promote equality and flexibility in every area and supporting part time working in all parts of the business wherever roles allow.
The data is calculated from 208 male and 219 female employees who qualified for inclusion in this data on the snapshot date of April 5th 2018. The bonus data is compiled from the 12 months prior to this date.
All employers with more than 250 staff are required by law to report their gender pay gaps by 4th April with publishers including publishers and retailers including Macmillan, Pearson, Hachette, Waterstones and W H Smith among those to have already disclosed their figures.