M&S to promote flexible working as it unveils 12.3% pay gap
British company Marks & Spencer has announced a series of measures to improve gender diversity at its company as it revealed a double digit gap in the salaries it paid to men and women in 2017.
The retailer joined the list of British companies publishing their gender pay gap figures under new Government rules this week.
Marks & Spencer reported a mean gender pay gap of 12.3% and a media gender pay gap of 3.3%. The figures are smaller than other fashion retailers, with New Look and White Stuff paying women 30% less than men as a mean average and John Lewis reporting a 13.9% gap. The national average for retail stood at 16.4% last year.
Marks & Spencer also said 75% of its female employees received a bonus in 2017, compared with 66% of men. But while the numbers are lower than the UK average of 17.4%, the retailer said it could do more to close the gap.
In addition to encouraging more flexible working, the company announced new measures to facilitate the pathways for women to move into senior roles, including a mentoring programme for women to prepare them for senior roles and a series of workshops.
“While it’s positive that our gender pay gap is lower than the UK average, the issues at play are complicated, and we believe it’s much more important to focus on taking meaningful action to drive equality and inclusivity rather than simply the numbers themselves,” said Simmone Haywood, head of talent at M&S.
“We will continue to annually publish our gender pay figures and report against our goals. Most importantly, we actively encourage our colleagues’ ideas and contribution on how we can foster diversity and inclusivity in every aspect of the business.”
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