PwC reports 13.7% gender pay gap

PwC has reported a 13.7% mean gender pay gap in information released under the government’s new regulations, which require companies with more than 250 employees to publish their gender pay data.

PwC also reported its mean bonus gap, which stands at 37.5%. The firm said that the disparity can be largely attributed to the fact that more men occupy senior and higher paid roles, with more women holding junior positions. Men account for 61.4% of the roles in the top quartile of the firm, with 52.5% of women accounting for roles in the lower quartile.

Laura Hinton, head of people at PwC, said that the firm was addressing the lower number of women in the top positions by reviewing recruitment processes, increasing the availability of part-time senior roles and promoting the returnship programme, which encourages women back into the workplace after an extended career break.

When comparing pay based on employees working in the same grade level, the PwC mean pay gap reduces to 2.9%. PwC said that the difference was down to the time spent in the role or factors relating to skillsets.

Hinton said the firm was “committed to creating an inclusive, fair and diverse business and tackling the underlying causes of our gender pay gap”. She added that as the firm has voluntarily reported gender pay data since 2014, it has been able to take steps to rectify the imbalances. The firm highlighted that the gap has narrowed from 15.2% in 2016.

With the publication of the data, the firm has become the largest employer and first professional services firm to report the information under the new guidelines, which entered into force this year.

Research previously conducted by PwC predicted that it will take until 2041 for the UK to close the gender pay gap, and highlighted financial services as the sector with the largest gap at 34%.

Alastair Woods, partner in PwC’s UK reward practice, said: “For many organisations with high gender pay gaps there is clearly a reputational risk. Unless firms are able to explain both why the gap exists and what they are doing to address the underlying issues, many will see them as not providing equal opportunities – which could negatively impact potential and current employees, as well as customers. For those that grasp the challenge to do so, they are likely to be seen as taking the issues seriously and in a positive light.”

Yet, research by Deloitte last year estimated that the gender pay gap would remain until 2069, unless immediate action was taken to reduce it.

Earlier this year, the Financial Reporting Council announced the closure of an investigation into PwC’s auditing and accounting of Tesco.

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