LONDON — WPP has published its UK gender pay gap data for 2017. The report shows a group median pay gap of 14.6% across all qualifying UK legal entities. The equivalent national figure is 18.4%2. WPP’s group mean pay gap is 25.5%.
In the UK, WPP consists of a number of individual operating companies with, collectively, approximately 14,000 employees (excluding associates). Each of these companies – if it has 250 or more employees – is required to publish its own gender pay gap data. To give the most representative picture of the group overall, WPP has chosen to publish the consolidated data for all qualifying operating companies, in addition to the required statutory reporting.
WPP has a gender-balanced workforce in the UK: 51% men and 49% women. However, there are fewer women in senior executive roles, where pay is highest, which results in a gender pay gap. This reflects the wider marketing services industry: according to the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising only 30.9%3 of C-suite roles in the UK are held by women.
The WPP report details the group’s investment in a range of programmes designed to encourage and accelerate the development of female leaders, with the ultimate goal of equal representation at the most senior levels of the business – the key to closing the gender pay gap.
Karen Blackett OBE, UK Country Manager, WPP, said: “We welcome the Government’s action on gender pay gap reporting, which will be a spur to further action by employers.
“WPP does not struggle to attract female talent. We have a gender-balanced workforce and all our companies work hard to ensure everyone is treated equally and has the same opportunities to develop in their career.
“Nonetheless, in common with the industry as a whole, we need to do more to change the gender profile of our leadership teams if we are to close our pay gap. We are placing an even greater emphasis on the development of female leaders, which includes actively promoting best practice in recruitment, training, mentoring, parental leave and flexible working within our companies.
“From my own experience I know that greater diversity, inclusion and gender balance leads to more successful and rewarding workplaces. Our challenge is to make sure that our management teams better reflect our business as a whole.”
1 The group: all qualifying legal entities in the UK, including the WPP parent company (WPP 2005 Ltd) and individual operating companies with at least 250 employees
2 Office of National Statistics, UK median 2017
3 IPA Diversity Survey 2017