House building and timber frame manufacturing organisation Stewart Milne Group has reported a 13.3% mean gender pay gap for fixed hourly pay as at 5 April 2018; this is a 4.8% decrease from the 18.1% mean gender pay gap the organisation reported for 2017.
The organisation reported its gender pay gap data in line with the government’s reporting regulations and in time for the private sector submission deadline of 4 April 2019.
The regulations require organisations with 250 or more employees to publish the differences in mean and median hourly rates of pay for male and female full-time employees, the gap in mean and median bonus pay for men and women, the proportions of male and female employees 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.
Stewart Milne Group’s 2018 median gender pay gap for fixed hourly pay is 7.2%.
The organisation’s mean gender pay gap for bonuses paid in the 12 months up to 5 April 2018 is 26.7%, which is a reduction from the recorded 2017 figure. Stewart Milne Group attributes this decrease to improved organisational performance, which in turn led to more employees being eligible to receive a bonus. The median gender pay gap for bonus payments is 35.1%. Over the current reporting period, 85.5% of female staff received a bonus compared to 40.6% of male staff.
Around a fifth (20%) of employees in the highest pay quartile at Stewart Milne Group are female, compared to 17% in the second, 26% in the third and 19% in the lowest pay quartile. In total, around 20% of the workforce is female.
Stewart Milne Group attributes its gender pay gap to an under-representation of women, in particular due to fewer women joining the construction sector. In the last year, therefore, Stewart Milne Group has developed a fast track modern apprenticeship programme; this aims to tackle the perception that entry-level roles in the industry are gained solely through a trades background.
The new apprenticeship programme will work alongside the organisation’s existing leadership development programmes, as well as its current graduate apprenticeship. Stewart Milne Group will also continue to deliver diversity and equality training to staff, and work with schools and colleges to promote the construction industry as a career choice. The business further offers all employees the right to request flexible working.
For 2019, Stewart Milne Group plans to review job profiles and adverts to ensure inclusive language is used, and will work with job board partners to hit diversity targets.
Karen Catto, HR director at Stewart Milne Group, said: “The gender pay gap can often be misconstrued as paying women less than men. This is certainly not the case at Stewart Milne Group, where we offer equal pay for equal work. At the root of the so-called pay gap in our industry and many others is the under-representation of women.
“Our gender pay gap has closed because of the strides we have made towards encouraging more women into the organisation, through several different routes and initiatives, and then making sure we provide them with clear progression routes into senior positions.
“In the past, there has been a perception that site supervisors would be required to work on-site in a manual role before progressing to a managerial position. This can often deter people, particularly females, who have an interest in construction but do not feel that they are suited to a labour-intensive role. The introduction of both the graduate apprenticeship in construction and the Built Environment programme, and a newly launched fast track modern apprenticeship, provides alternative routes into senior roles at Stewart Milne Group.
“We are very pleased to have some great examples of women who have risen to senior roles in the group and act as mentors and role models to those joining our industry.
“Of course, we recognise we have some way to go. We will continue to promote the benefits of our industry to women and also ensure our own recruitment, learning and development strategies support their development into senior roles.”