International Women’s Day 2023: 18 UK companies and public bodies with huge gender pay gaps

High street retailers, banks, charities and public bodies are all failing to close the gender pay gap - here are some of the worst offenders.

As companies across the country mark International Women’s Day, new analysis by NationalWorld shows high street names, including HSBC, Tui and Ann Summers, are still falling short in closing their gender pay gap.

Analysis by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that the gender pay gap has been slowly declining over time in the UK. It reported that over the last decade it has fallen by approximately a quarter among both full-time employees and all employees. But there is  still a long way to go to close the  gap and overall, the median hourly pay for all employees in April 2022  was 14.9% less for women than for men.

The ONS analysis is based on a small sample of employee jobs, using data held by HMRC. But since 2017 the government has also obligated companies, charities and public sector employers with more than 250 employees to submit a gender pay gap report to it, to put pressure on them to close the gap.

The gender pay gap is calculated as the difference between average hourly earnings of men and women, as a proportion of men’s earnings. It excludes overtime and bonuses.

Companies have until 4 April to submit their 2022/23 gender pay gap reports to the UK government. It is expected around 10,000 will submit reports but as of 7 March, only 2,400 had published their figures. The results so far have revealed huge gender pay gaps continue to be a feature at some of the UK’s best known companies – ranging from banking and financial services provider, HSBC, to airline and holiday operator, Tui, and women’s lingerie store, Ann Summers.

Ann Summers blamed its stark gender pay gap on the “sheer number of females” employed in retail outlets, where the hourly pay is lower than for head office roles, which it said “unfairly” skews the figures towards males. A spokesperson also criticised the “binary gender” nature of pay gap reporting, as it does not reflect how staff choose to identify. “Through our diversity, equality and inclusion strategy, we are striving to support greater gender and cultural diversity as a business,” they said, adding that Ann Summers exists to sexually empower women. HSCBC and Tui were also approached for comment.

Police forces, local councils and NHS trusts also rank among the organisations with the biggest gender pay gaps to have submitted reports so far.

Below we have listed  some other well-known companies with sizable gender pay gaps, selecting some of the worst offenders from various different sectors, such as banks or travel operators.  The figures are based on the median hourly percentage difference in earnings published in each companies’ 2022/23 gender pay gap report. Images are for illustrative purposes.

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