The UK’s sixth largest employer of architects, Allies and Morrison, has said it is ‘committed’ to closing the gender pay gap after releasing its official salary data
According to new figures posted under the government’s new mandatory reporting rules, the company pays women 10.5 per cent less per hour than men based on the median of its staff salaries – the standard way of comparing payroll between firms.
With only a slightly higher mean gap of 15.8 per cent, the 330-strong company can boast the best figures so far posted by the UK’s biggest practices, with a smaller gap than Foster + Partners, Pick Everard and AECOM.
However, bonuses for women are a third less (33.3 per cent) than those for men and only 23 per cent of women received a bonus compared with a third of men.
The firm has one of the most gender-balanced workforces of all the AJ100 practices, with women making up 43 per cent of all staff.
That proportion has risen markedly since 2010 when only a quarter of its workforce were female.
In a supporting statement lodged with the official statistics, managing partner Jo Bacon said: ‘This pay gap exists because we have a lower proportion of women than men in senior roles. Though this is a gap broadly consistent with the demographic within the profession, we are proudly committed to playing our part in closing it. We are an equal opportunities employer and all our men and women are paid equally for doing equivalent jobs. We recruit and promote based on individual talent and skills.
She added: ‘We are pleased that our promotions over the last several years have become more balanced by gender. This reflects the broader changes in the composition of our profession. Today, more women than ever before are developing careers in architecture, construction and planning.’
Allies and Morrison’s approved extension to Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre next to the River Thames
Under legislation enacted last year, businesses in England, Scotland or Wales employing more than 250 people must report their gender pay gap by 4 April 2018.
The pay gap is calculated on a ‘snapshot date’ of 5 April 2017, and is expressed as the percentage difference between the average hourly earnings of men and women.
Reporting both median and mean measurements can shed light on the root causes of the pay gap. The median figure is often taken as the more accurate measure, as the mean can be skewed by the distribution of pay among employees. A larger mean pay gap suggests that a company’s top salaried roles are occupied by more men than women.
Under the new rules, businesses are also obliged to set out how men and women are paid at all levels by dividing their payroll into quartiles.
Only a few other companies in the architectural sector have so far published their gender pay gap figures.
Global big-hitter AECOM was among the first to reveal its data, confirming that it paid its female staff 21.9 per cent less per hour than its men. So far Pick Everard has the worst figures which show a 24.3 per cent median pay gap.
Having a gender pay gap is not illegal, although the principle of equal pay has been enshrined in law since 1970. It is unlawful to pay people unequally because they are male or female.
However, a company that pays men and women of equal standing the same wage may still have a gender pay gap if its senior, well-paid roles are mostly occupied by men.
Allies and Morrison is a partner to the AJ and sister title The Architectural Review’s Women in Architecture Partnership Programme.
To view a list of all practices’ reported gender pay gap data, click here
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