Gender pay gaps widen at Cohens, Lloydspharmacy and Rowlands

The mean pay gap – the difference in pay between the average male and female UK hourly rate – at Cohens Chemist widened the most, up to 38% as of April 2018, it said in a report published last month.

This marked with a 22 percentage point increase from a year before when the mean pay gap was 16%.

Cohens employs 2,368 staff who operate 221 pharmacy branches.

The chain said the “skewed position” toward male employees shown in its mean pay gap is “due to the underrepresentation of male employees in the middle [pay] quartiles”.

“Female distribution across the quartiles is much more evenly spread,” it added.

However, the chain’s median pay gap – which takes the mid-point when all hourly rates are lined up from biggest to smallest, reducing the impact of one-off outliers – was 5% in favour of female employees in the 2018 report.

Its median pay gap was 8% in favour of female employees the previous year.

Lloydspharmacy gap two percentage points wider

Lloydspharmacy also reported an increase in the mean gender pay gap, with male employees receiving 26% more than female employees in 2018.

Last year, Lloydspharmacy – the UK’s second largest multiple – reported a mean average pay gap of 31% in favour of men. However, the multiple said it had subsequently “discovered a discrepancy in our 2017 reporting” and it should have been reported as 24%.

The multiple also reported a widening of its median average pay gap for 2018, with female employees being paid 14% less than male employees. This had increased from 3% in 2017.

Lloydspharmacy attributed its pay gap to having a low percentage of female employees in the highest pay band, which is “due to a higher proportion of males within our head office management roles”, it said.

The multiple’s efforts to narrow its gender pay gap include educating managers “so they understand the benefits of a diverse workforce”, and removing “unconscious bias by upskilling managers in the recruitment process”.

Rowlands gap widens by one percentage point

Rowlands revealed it paid its male employees 18% more on mean average than its female employees in 2018, an increase of one percentage point from the previous year.

The multiple reported a median pay gap of 0% for 2018, a shift from being 3% in favour of female employees in 2017.

Rowlands said one of the reasons for the widening of the mean gender pay gap may be because “there are now more males in higher paid positions…and a higher number of females in the lowest quartile”.

“We have to continue to focus on ensuring we have a fully inclusive working environment,” the multiple added.

The other pharmacy chains

The gender pay gaps at Superdrug and Day Lewis have narrowed, according to their second annual gender pay gap reports, while Paydens’ remained largely unchanged.

Last week, C+D reported that the average gender pay gap at Boots had slightly narrowed from 21% in 2017 to 20% a year later, while Well’s gender pay gap remained around 20%.

As of 2018, companies with over 250 employees are legally required to publish annual reports on the difference in the average hourly wage of all men and women across their workforce. This is not the same as equal pay, which is the legal requirement that men and women in the same employment, performing equal work, must receive the same wages.

See this table for all the pharmacy chains’ gender pay gap figures, correct to one decimal place.

Author: Lorraine Oliver

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