Reckitt Benckiser Group’s UK gender-pay gap moved in favour of women in 2020

But more work needed on at senior level as bonuses, executive pay favour men

Photograph: iStock

Reckitt Benckiser Group’s UK gender-pay gap moved broadly in favour of women last year, according to a new equality report by the consumer-goods giant that expanded research to 10 countries.

The median UK-based female employee was paid 6.1 per cent more than her male equivalent as of April 2020, up from 3.8 per cent the year before, data published Wednesday show. Average pay in the country remained skewed in favor of men, though at a narrower percentage rate than in 2019.

The maker of brands including Dettol, Clearasil and Durex in part explains the difference by the large number of employees – about a fifth of the UK workforce – employed in manufacturing. Those jobs are dominated by lower-paid men, pushing the median pay toward women. However, the number of male senior managers moves the average salary the opposite direction.

That dynamic is further reflected in bonuses, with the mean amount 58 per cent in favour of men.

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Reckitt’s pay gap shrunk along with the rest of the UK, though the national margin is still heavily tilted toward men. The median salary difference in the country was 15.5 per cent in favor of men in 2020, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Meanwhile, the World Economic Forum published findings that the Covid-19 pandemic had reversed years of work globally. That’s because lockdowns have hit female-dominated sectors hardest and left women doing more household chores, the organisation said.

Reckitt reported gender-pay data from countries including Russia and Brazil for the first time, extending coverage to about 70 per cent of the workforce.

The company is not “comfortable with the consequences of this gender imbalance at senior levels” and is working to address the issue, it said in the report.– Bloomberg