Willis Towers Watson reports a 38.9% mean gender pay gap

money, notes

Global advisory and broking organisation Willis Towers Watson has reported a 38.9% mean gender pay gap for fixed hourly pay as at April 2017.

The organisation has reported its gender pay gap data across its two UK legal entities in line with the government’s gender pay gap reporting regulations and ahead of the private sector submission deadline of 4 April 2018. The entities it has reported on are Willis Limited and Towers Watson Limited.

The gender pay gap reporting regulations require organisations with 250 or more employees to publish the difference between both the mean and median hourly rate of pay for male and female full-time employees; the difference between both the mean bonus pay and median bonus pay for male and female employees; the proportions of male and female employees who were awarded bonus pay; and the proportions of male and female full-time employees in the lower, lower middle, upper middle and upper quartile pay bands.

Willis Towers Watson’s median gender pay gap for fixed hourly pay as at April 2017 is 31.7%.

Its mean gender pay gap for bonuses paid in the year to April 2017 is 68.8%, and the median gender pay gap for bonus payments is 60.9%. This includes annual bonus amounts, commission and long-term incentive award payments. Over this period, 88% of both female and male employees received a bonus payment.

Almost one-quarter (24%) of employees in the highest pay quartile at Willis Towers Watson are female, compared to 41% in the second quartile, 51% in the third quartile and 56% in the lowest pay quartile.

Willis Towers Watson attributes its gender pay gap to the distribution of men and women across the business. For example, its analysis shows that there is a higher proportion of male employees at higher career levels while there is a higher proportion of female employees at lower career levels. For example, 1% of the organisation’s managing directors and senior directors are women, compared to 7% who are men. One in 10 (10%) of Willis Towers Watson’s directors and associate directors are female compared to 17% who are male.

Furthermore, the organisation found that the distribution of men and women across job roles is also not balanced, as the varied job types at Willis Towers Watson attract different rewards. Currently, more men are employed in roles that attract higher pay opportunities.

Both of these imbalances also impact Willis Towers Watson’s bonus gender pay gap, as employees working at higher career levels tend to attract higher salaries and have increased incentive opportunities.

To address its gender pay gap, Willis Towers Watson has amended its succession planning process to ensure that all eligible candidates are considered for senior roles, implemented senior mentoring and coaching and introduced structured sponsorship initiatives that aim to better identify the right career opportunities for female employees. The organisation is also investing in accelerated leadership development programmes, placing potential leaders into stretch assignments and is exploring a new UK-wide development programme targeted at high-potential female staff.

Willis Towers Watson will continue to use gender-blind CVs, gender-neutral language and diverse interview panels as part of its recruitment process. It will additionally expand its recruiting channels to achieve greater gender-balance, partnering with two new diversity platforms to help deliver this.

The organisation will maintain its support of flexible working, provide a full calendar of diversity and inclusion events for 2018 and sponsor its Dive In Festival. It will also continue to implement programmes such as its Parenthood in the Workplace initiative, which helps to support and retain employees as they transition in or out of work for parental leave.

Nicholas Aubert, head of GB at Willis Towers Watson, said in the report: “Diversity benefits us all. We are fortunate to have many hugely talented women at Willis Towers Watson. I am committed to having an environment that enables even more women to realise their full potential with us at all levels, and especially in leadership roles. Not only because it’s the right thing to do, but because it benefits our clients, our culture and our business.”