// Retail industry shows lowest gender pay gap numbers
// Diversity in Retail (DiR) analysed published data for the end of May this year
// Retail narrowed pay gap by offering similar pay levels for mainly prevalent junior roles
New research has found that the retail sector has presented some of the lowest pay gap numbers over the past year.
Diversity in Retail (DiR), which counts Sainsbury’s and the John Lewis Partnership as founding members, analysed published data for the end of May this year.
It found that the retail industry managed to narrow the pay gap by offering similar pay levels for the mainly prevalent junior roles, which are typically well-balanced between men and women.
READ MORE: How retailers can tackle gender pay gaps
DiR’s Gender Pay Gap in Retail Interim Report 2020-21 showed that over 50 per cent of staff for many retailers are shop floor or distribution workers, which means median pay gaps within the organisations have been largely stable in the past year.
It also found that gender disparity reporting within the retail sector was at 36 per cent, slightly higher than the wider market – which was at 32 per cent.
“It is crucially important to continue to focus on transparency, reporting and meaningful action to address some of the inequalities that existed prior to the pandemic and have been exacerbated since,” DiR’s founder Tea Colaianni said.
“Every step, however small, can contribute to making a significant difference in closing pay inequalities and advancing the broader diversity and inclusion agenda in retail.”
The Government Equalities Office suspended the gender pay gap reporting deadline last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic and announced a delay in enforcement for 2020/2021 reporting until October 5.
This means many retailers still have not published their own data.
However, Sainsbury’s and John Lewis published their annual gender pay gap reports earlier this year.
The interim report, which was produced in partnership with PwC, also highlighted some of the initiatives and best practices implemented by retailers to tackle the issue of gender inequality in the industry.
Those included internal progression, introducing dedicated gender networks and equal parental paid leave, using technology and data to map gender representation, and improving flexible working practices in order to attract more female talent.