Waterstones scores 4.5% gender pay gap

Waterstones scores 4.5% gender pay gap

Waterstones has revealed its gender pay gap to be considerably less than the national average, in its report complying with new government regulations, but with significant differences in bonus amounts paid to men and women.

The retailer’s median pay gap is 4.5%, significantly less than the national average of 18.4%, while the mean is 13.9%, beating the UK average of 17.4%. Waterstones reported this gap as driven largely by head office employees, where there are more men in senior positions. The mean drops to 7% and median to 1% when managers were removed from the equation, according to the report.

Like other companies in the books business reporting pay gaps, Waterstones attributed gender pay gap differences to having a higher number of men in senior positions.

The difference it pays men and women in bonuses is striking, with a median difference of 25% and mean of 91.6% which the company attributed to bonus payments made to board directors in 2016. M.d. James Daunt wrote that the “ more representative measure is that excluding the director bonus payments”, with a 25% gap with a 27.1% mean difference. The bonus variation was again attributed to more men than women being in senior positions in head office as well as female store workers being more likely to work part-time and having less than one year’s service.

The data showed that more men received bonuses than women, with 75.9% compared to 66.7% respectively, again reported as being because a greater percentage of women joined after the bonus qualification date.

It was revealed that there were more women in each pay quartile except for the quartile of highest earners which was comprised of slightly more men, with 53.2% compared to 46.8%.

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.

Daunt said the company is “committed to reducing our gender pay gap” but did not disclose any further details, in contrast to many other companies reporting gaps, which have shared details of initiatives put in place to reduce them.

Hachette, Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Pearson, Springer Nature, Elsevier, Wiley, Taylor and Francis, SAGE and Cambridge University Press have all released their figures, along with retailers Blackwells and W H Smith. E-retailer Amazon is yet to do so.

On Monday, The Bookseller revealed that women in publishing have voiced frustration over the broad pay gaps revealed.

The Bookseller is seeking views on the book trade's gender pay gap. To take part, follow this link.