Scholastic has revealed a median pay gap of 8.45%, less than half of the national average of 18.4%.
The children’s publisher shared data ahead of the government's 4th April deadline for companies of 250 employees or more to report on gender pay gaps.
Women are paid a median hourly rate of 8.45% less than men, compared to the UK average of 18.4%. The mean gender pay gap is higher, meanwhile, at 15.17%, although still below the national average of 17.4%
In terms of bonuses, however, women are the highest earners, with a median average of 136.95% in women's favour. The mean average bonus was also in women's favour (37.87%). A slightly higher proportion of men received bonuses – 37% compared to 33%. Women dominated every pay quartile at the children's publisher, with 65% of women in its upper pay quartile.
The firm said that despite 60% of the executive board being made up of women, its pay gap was partly due to its term time only flexible working policy, which sees staff members paid over the whole year for 38 weeks.
“We are committed to helping to reduce inequality in society and we will continue to build a more diverse and inclusive workforce to meet the needs of the children we seek to motivate,” co-m.ds Catherine Bell and Steve Thompson wrote in the report.
“To ensure we continue to employ the best talent, we are committed to supporting flexible working and ensuring our roles are accessible to a diverse candidate pool to create a fair workforce that reflects our society.”
Thompson said: “At Scholastic UK, 70% of our organisation are women with 60% of our executive being female too.”
However, he recognised that the company still has more to do to close the gender pay gap completely.
“The remaining gap is partly driven by our term time only flexible working policy that is a key part of our school facing business. The term time hours are paid over 52 weeks rather than the 38 weeks staff work and the vast majority of our term time workers are women.
“While women are represented in the upper quartile, there is a larger representation of men in the upper quartile of our business compared to men in the other three quartiles due to more men being employed in the areas of IT and Operations.”
He attributed the fact that women earned more in bonuses to more females holding sales and senior roles, which attract a bonus payment.
Bell said: “Although we have a clear equal pay for equal roles policy, this exercise reminded us to continue encouraging all staff, but particularly women, in the more traditional male working environments to help us close the remaining pay gap. We are using our apprentice programme to encourage more women to apply for roles in these areas of the business as well as reviewing our recruitment strategy within these areas.
“We are committed to supporting term-time working as this works for those looking for flexibility as well as the schools we serve.”
The hourly pay gap and bonus data is to be shared by all companies employing more than 250 employees in compliance with new government legislation, by 4th April. The gender pay gap is the difference between the average earnings for men and women, which is different to discrimination on equal pay, which is illegal. The median average is the figure that falls in middle of all employees' salaries from lowest to highest paid, while the mean is calculated by dividing the total wages of a company by its number of staff.
Hachette, Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Pearson, Springer Nature, Elsevier, Wiley, Taylor and Francis, SAGE and Cambridge University Press have all shared their gender pay gaps, along with retailers Blackwells and W H Smith.
Last week, The Bookseller spoke to women in publishing who revealed concern over the broad pay gaps revealed.