The Co-operative Bank and Shell reveal gender pay gaps topping 20 per cent

 
Rebecca Smith
The Co-op said its male staff earned 22.6 per cent more than their female colleagues
The Co-op said its male staff earned 22.6 per cent more than their female colleagues (Source: Getty)

The Co-operative Bank and Shell have become the latest names to reveal their gender pay gaps as the April deadline looms for large employers to report the figures.

The Co-op said its median gender pay gap - the middle figure when the hourly rates of all staff are listed in ascending order - was 22.6 per cent. Its median bonus pay gap was significantly higher, at 65.3 per cent.

Shell UK meanwhile, said on average, its female staff earn 22.7 per cent less than their male colleagues while it reported a median gender bonus gap of 12.1 per cent. Both firms pointed to the number of men in senior roles compared to the number of women as a reason for the disparity.

Read more: EasyJet's gender pay gap: Male staff paid 46 per cent more than women

By April next year, all UK firms and public sector organisations with 250 or more employees have to report what they pay their male and female staff.

At present, 285 employers have reported the necessary information, out of an estimated 9,000 that will need to do so.

The government has requested firms provide their median gender pay gap figures, saying that by identifying the wage of the middle earner, the median is the best representation of the typical gender difference.

It also wants the mean gender pay gap figures, and the difference in bonus payouts.

Steven Pickering, the Co-op Bank's chief risk officer, said:

We’re committed to supporting a fair and ethical workplace for all of our colleagues, including reducing our gender pay gap. Like many banks, our gender profile means that we have a pay gap which reflects the number of men in senior roles compared to the number of women.

The bank said it was committed to tackling the gap through its participation in the Women in Finance Charter, an initiative by the Treasury, and pledged to fill 40 per cent of senior management roles by 2020. That is a 25 per cent rise on the Co-op's 2016 benchmark of 32 per cent.

It said progress has been made - and by October 2017, the figure had risen to 34 per cent.

Measures the Co-op is taking to tackle the gap
  • Appointing a member of the senior exec team to be accountable for gender diversity and inclusion
  • Setting internal targets for gender diversity in senior management
  • Publishing progress annually against the targets in online reports
  • Ensuring the pay of its senior exec team is linked to delivery against internal targets on gender diversity

Shell meanwhile, said as well as fewer women than men in leadership positions causing the gender pay gap, it noted fewer women working in the technical or trading roles that will attract higher levels of pay.

Ronan Cassidy, Shell's chief HR and corporate officer said: “The publication of the UK data provides a good opportunity to take stock, and a good reminder of why it is important to maintain the momentum of efforts internally and externally and keep focus on the issue.”

The oil giant said it had been making progress over the years: between 2005 and 2017, the percentage of women in senior management roles in the UK has increased from 12 per cent to 26.8 per cent.

Accenture also revealed its gender pay gap data today, reporting a median pay gap in the UK of 10.2 per cent, while its median bonus gap was 33.4 per cent.

Read more: It's official: London now has the biggest gender pay gap in the UK

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