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Pick Everard reveals widest gender pay gap yet among architecture firms

Sir Isaac Newton School, Norwich, by Pick Everard
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AJ100 practice Pick Everard has revealed its gender pay gap data, which show a wider difference between men’s and women’s salaries than any architecture firm that has reported so far

According to the data, posted under the government’s new mandatory reporting rules, the multi-disciplined construction and design consultancy pays women 24.5 per cent less per hour than men, based on the median of its staff salaries – the standard way of comparing payroll between firms.

Other practices to have unveiled their median pay gap figures are: Foster + Partners (10.5 per cent); Arup (16.7 per cent) and AECOM (21.9 per cent).

Pick Everard, which has 11 UK offices and employs more than 460 staff, including around 40 architects, also only gave 5.6 per cent of its women bonuses compared with 19.3 per cent of men.

The figures show that just 14.3 per cent of the company’s highest earners (top quartile) were female, while almost a half of the lowest earners were women (45.9 per cent).

The total proportion of female staff is around 28 per cent, with the company employing five female directors and 10 female associates as part of its management team.

In a report submitted with the data, Pick Everard’s senior partner Joanna Griffin-Shaw admitted the figures ‘showed the construction industry, like many other industries, suffers from female under-representation, being particularly pronounced at senior level’.

Her introduction reads: ’We welcome the government’s requirement for firms to publish their gender pay gap information, and this data will allow us to benchmark ourselves and capture our journey over the next few years making positive steps to improve further.

‘However, we must all recognise the current gender pay gap reporting is calculated to highlight and raise awareness regarding the representation of women in industry, particularly in senior roles. It is a very different measurement to gender pay equality. Until there is the same quantity of men as women in the construction professions across all levels this reporting will appear skewed.’

She added: ’On reviewing the figures and the method of reporting, Pick Everard, like many firms, feel the gender pay gap figures in this first year will be a challenge to improve on quickly.

‘With the work we and others are doing to encourage more women to choose careers in the built environment, and through proactively introducing initiatives which focus on providing assistance to achieve a good life-work balance, over time more women will, like myself, be able to remain within the sector and fully achieve their ambitions.’ 

The company has been contacted for further comment.

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. 

To view a list of all practices’ reported gender pay gap data, click here

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