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March 23, 2018

The Economist Group reveals gender pay gap of 32.5 per cent as company pledges more opportunities for women to progress

By Charlotte Tobitt

The Economist Group has revealed a mean gender pay gap of 32.5 per cent, the highest of any media organisation declared so far ahead of the Government deadline next month.

The figure represents around 670 permanent staff in the UK, mainly in London, including the majority of The Economist’s editorial teams plus marketing, circulation, media, consultancy, head office and support staff.

Like other publishers and broadcasters who have declared their figures so far, The Economist Group said the fact there are more women in junior roles and more men in senior roles is a “major reason” for the pay gap.

The upper pay quartile of employees – those who are the highest paid – is made up of 76 per cent men and 24 per cent women.

The group also revealed a mean bonus gap of 26.4 per cent, with 34.3 per cent of male employees receiving bonus pay compared to 22.8 per cent of women.

Chief executive Chris Stibbs said: “It is clear that while we employ similar numbers of men and women we need to provide more opportunities for women to progress.”

He added: “We are committed to achieving gender parity across the group and through annual measurement and reporting we will demonstrate improvement.

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“We attract many applications for employment both from men and women and need to ensure that appointments and career progression achieves our goal, particularly at more senior management levels.”

The Economist Group revealed a commitment to consider multiple male and female candidates for senior roles and ensure better gender balance in management teams.

“Some teams have achieved this and others have a way to go,” the report said.

However, the company said equal representation of women in senior roles and management teams would not be achieved by recruitment and career progression alone.

Paternity and maternity support and management development will be re-examined, while diversity and inclusion training will be widely deployed to help employees understand unconscious biases.

The Economist posted a median gender pay gap of 29.5 per cent and a median bonus gap of 7.5 per cent at the snapshot date of 5 April last year.

Other media organisations to have announced their mean gender pay gaps for 2017 so far (in descending pay gap size) are:

  • Channel 4 – 28.6 per cent
  • ITN – 19.6 per cent (encompassing Channel 4 News, ITV News and Channel 5 News)
  • Trinity Mirror – 18 per cent (5.8 per cent at Local World, 17.8 per cent at Mirror Group Newspapers and 19.4 per cent at Media Scotland)
  • Sky – 11.5 per cent (5.2 per cent within broadcasting division)
  • Guardian News and Media – 11.3 per cent
  • BBC – 10.7 per cent

Companies with more than 250 employees have until 4 April to publish their gender pay gap data by law.

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