New Look and John Lewis are among the latest high street retailers to publish their gender pay reports in line with new government legislation.
Both retailers have disclosed their results ahead of the government’s April deadline, by which time any private sector company with more than 250 employees need to publish data on their gender pay gap, along with details on the proportion of male and female employees and their gender bonus gap.
New Look revealed that its mean gender pay gap was 30% in April 2017, dropping 1.3% from 2016.
The retailer attributed this gap to the balance of men and women across different job levels, with more women filling lower paid positions.
Of its employees, 82% work in stores, and 91% of these employees are female.
“Most of our retail roles are sales advisor positions, which are lower paid than management roles. This means we have a large number of women in lower paid jobs,” New Look executive chairman Alistair McGeorge said in the report.
“What’s more, our brand is predominantly female focussed, which makes us more attractive to female applicants.”
On top of this, New Look has a higher number of men than women in its more senior support centres positions.
“Together with the large number of women working in the lower paid, more flexible roles, this results in our gender pay gap,” McGeorge explained.
In order to close the gap, New Look has set up a ‘Junior Board’ with predominantly female membership, reflective of its workforce, to drive business initiatives.
It is also running a ‘Buddy to Boss’ programme, to support talented retail employees on a clear career path.
Meanwhile, the John Lewis Partnership has published a mean gender gap of 13.9%.
Across the group’s 65,000 junior workforce jobs, 61% are filled by females, while men make up 54% of the non-senior workforce and 60% of the senior leadership workforce.
John Lewis’ head of personnel Tracey Killen said it is the group’s priority to reduce its gender pay gap figures.
“One of the areas we will focus on is why a smaller proportion of our junior female workforce progress to senior levels. We want to work with Partners to help us understand the reasons and explore solutions. We will put our Gender Equality Network at the centre of this debate,” she added.