The results so far of an analysis of the data from the first 570 organisations to publish their gender pay gaps found that the average gap in mean hourly pay between men and women is 11%.
Among individual companies, this figure is surprisingly inconsistent, with the highest pay gap reported at 64.8% (Phase Eight Fashion) and the lowest — where a negative percentage indicates a pay gap in favour of women — at -46.4% (Sweet Dreams).
Unsurprisingly, the financial services, construction, and scientific and technical industries had the three highest pay gaps for hourly pay, with 27.5%, 19.5% and 16.8% respectively — suggesting less female representation in the top jobs.
At the other end of the scale, the health and social care sector boasted the lowest gap for hourly pay — at 5.4% — implying a more even spread of women in the top jobs, as well as at lower levels.
The housing and property sector, for example, has the lowest mean gender pay gap for bonus pay at -37.6% — in favour of women. The manufacturing sector has the second-lowest gap for hourly pay, with 7.2%, indicating a higher-than-expected representation of women in higher-level jobs.
However, gender pay gap figures reported by some firms have been called into question, prompting concerns about “fake data” from the Fawcett Society campaign group. Two dozen companies say they have a gender pay gap of zero, with 10 of them claiming that precisely 50% of lower, middle, upper and higher wage earners are female and 50% are male. One of those companies has admitted that its figures might have been “entered in error”.