50 of East Anglia's biggest firm's gender pay gaps revealed
PUBLISHED: 06:41 05 April 2019 | UPDATED: 10:17 05 April 2019
The biggest employers in Norfolk and Suffolk have posted their gender pay gap figures today.
The vast majority of firms in the region employing 250 people or more, on average, pay the median man more than the median woman according to the most recently published results for 2018.
However, 30 out of the top 50 biggest employers in the region are in line or below the national median pay gap average of 10%.
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On top of this, around half of the big names in Norfolk and Suffolk also managed to reduce the gender pay discrepancy between men and women.
One company which has made a concerted effort to rebalance its employee’s income is the Norfolk Community Health and Care Trust.
The trust states: “Since our first report in March 2018, the Trust has reviewed Talent Management processes, reviewed inclusion of “unconscious bias” training in recruitment training and challenging career stereotypes through the Talent for Care team to encourage more males into certain roles and associated career pathways.”
It added: “Qualified Nursing is the area where the lack of males is having an adverse effect on the Gender Pay Gap as the proportion of females in this group is dramatically higher than that of males.”
One major Norfolk employer which is struggling to balance its payments is Aviva.
The insurer’s median pay gap for 2018 stands at 27.8%, higher than last year’s of 27.6%.
The company also has a median gender bonus gap of 39.1%, with its top quartile being made up of 68% men.
However, the company is making major changes to tackle this.
Caroline Prendergast, interim chief people officer, previously said: “We are far from satisfied with the status quo and not complacent, yet it may take a few years before we can realistically expect an improvement in the pace of change and a tangible shift in the data.”
As such, the company has launched initiatives such as equal parental leave, a Women in Technology taskforce, and six ‘Aviva Balance’ groups addressing gender, race, sexual orientation, carers and employees from different generations.
The company is also reinforcing its commitment to future female leaders through sponsorship of the Female FTSE Board Report and The Diversity Project.
Where many businesses saw their gender imbalances widen, in some cases this actually meant women being paid increasingly better than their male counterparts.
One case of this is Norwich’s Naked Wines, which along with its owners Majestic Wines, saw its female employees paid a median wage of £10.27 an hour for every £10 the median man earned.
However, the company was quick to establish that although it’s results were “favourable”, it still had work to do to bring more women into the business.
A spokesman said: “We still need to become more representative across all levels with women only representing just over 31% of our workforce. We have taken steps to be a more attractive employer for women, through our maternity support and flexible job designs.”
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Chloe Smith is the MP for Norwich North and one of the founding members of Norwich for Jobs. She said: “Paying people equally is basic and important. I’m pleased that the government has shone the spotlight on firms by demanding this data, because it means everyone gets to see what’s going on. Employers have to give thought to how they best support their employees, and employees can see who they might like to work for who really gets it.”
She continued: “Policies like shared parental leave are relevant here too - no longer is it the case that bringing up a family is a female employee’s problem. I urge Norfolk businesses to think about the talent that is out there and what they need to do to be attractive in a time of high employment.”