// BRC working with the government to support equal access to opportunity in retail, especially for women
// BRC said retail industry’s gender pay gap is “much lower” than the country as a whole
// Today is the deadline for companies to submit their annual gender pay gap report
The British Retail Consortium and the Government Equality Office has announced they are working together to support equal access to opportunity in retail as companies around the country rush to meet today’s gender pay gap reporting deadline.
The BRC said that in comparison to the UK as a whole, the retail industry has a “much lower” gender pay gap – standing at 9.1 per cent.
The lobby group also re-iterated that retail is a major employer of women, with 58 per cent of all retail jobs held by women.
In addition, with 53 per cent of all retail jobs are part-time, it said that 69 per cent of those part-time positions are held by women.
The BRC said it was “working hard” to support more part-time progression and harness the talents of the whole workforce by partnering with flexibility experts Timewise to find ways to overcome barriers to part-time progression.
“The gender pay gap data required by regulation is a useful measure to increase transparency and has brought inclusivity and diversity to the boardroom” the BRC said in a statement.
“But a single figure on its own is not a reflection of the industry’s diversity. ”
The BRC pointed to its Better Retail, Better World campaign where 28 leading retailers recognised their role in reducing inequality and commitment to disclosing steps they have taken to reduce inequalities by 2020.
“The retail industry is proud of its diverse workforce,” BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said.
“Nearly six in 10 jobs in retail are held by women and over half of all jobs are part-time, enabling those with caring responsibilities to remain in work.
“Retail is a leading employer of women in the UK and recognise the importance of creating workplaces in which all individuals have the same opportunity to enter work and progress.
“While the annual publication of gender pay gap data has driven a more focused discussion about inclusion, we must not let a set of annual figures distract from the ongoing work to create inclusive workplaces.
“The BRC will continue to work constructively with the Government Equality Office in the coming year to sustain equal opportunity across the industry and support retailers, where possible, to take steps to reduce their pay gap figure.”
Victoria Atkins, Minister for Women, said: “As the latest figures are scrutinised, we will continue to work with the British Retail Consortium on our shared aim of ensuring equal access to opportunity for all across the sector.”