Hachette gender pay gap narrows

News - Publishing Friday, 30 November 2018

Hourly pay gap between men and women shrinks from 24.7% to 20.1% for Hachette UK Ltd; across whole Group gap is reversed, with women out-earning men by 0.6%

Hachette has this morning released its second set of gender pay gap figures, disclosure of which is a legal requirement for all organisations numbering over 250 people.

The headline figure for the hourly pay gap is down from 24.7% last year to 20.1% this year in Hachette UK Ltd. Across the larger HUK Group, the gap has narrowed in the opposite direction, but by less: from -1.3% (i.e. in favour of women) to -0.6% this year.

Alongside the hourly pay rates bonus figures are also released. These show that, in the legal reporting entity of Hachette UK Ltd, the median bonus gender pay gap is 28.5% (down from 38.5% in 2017); in the larger Hachette Group bonuses have swung in favour of women, with a gender pay gap of -0.8%, as opposed to 1.6% a year earlier.

Hachette has chosen to release two sets of figures, one for the legal reporting entity, HUK Ltd, covering 831 employees, and one for much larger whole group, covering 1,650 people. The legal entity HUK Ltd is 71% women, whilst HUK Group, which includes traditionally male-dominated distribution functions, is 67% women, albeit up from 66% women a year earlier.

At higher levels of the company the ratio of men increases. Six of the eleven operating divisions are headed by women; 4 of the 11-strong Hachette UK main board are women; only one woman is on the executive committee. However, that balance will shift when Melanie Tansey joins the board, and the executive committee, in January.

The higher ratio of men in the upper echelons of the HUK Ltd is reflected in the numbers employed in each pay quartile. In the lower three quartiles between 70 and 80% of the staff are women; in the upper quartile the percentage drops to 56.7%.

In the overall Group the figures are broadly similiar, except in the lowest paid quartile, which is 45% male, compared to 21% in the smaller unit, presumably reflecting the inclusion of distribution and warehousing in the overall Group figures.

Hachette released a statement alongside the figures, explaining its decision to release two sets of figures and calling on other publishers to show similar levels of transparency.

'Our gender pay gap results – struck two weeks after the 2017 results were announced – are 20.1% for HUK Ltd (our legal entity which does not include our distribution business) and -0.6% for HUK Group (all companies including distribution). This compares to 24.7% for HUK Ltd in 2017 and -1.3% for the HUK Group.

'There is a long way to go to equalise the gap for the publishing divisions, but we feel very determined to do so and have a number of measures in place to tackle it, including transparent pay ranges for the majority of the company, shared parental leave and a focus on flexible working for all. We recognise that pay gaps can be even more extreme for groups such as women of colour, and for this reason we take an intersectional approach with our actions and in all our diversity and inclusion initiatives in order to address it.

'The gender pay gap is an important moral and business issue and ,in order to give a clear picture across our business, we announce our results including and excluding distribution and internally by publishing division and function. We call on all major publishers to be transparent and to release their results including and excluding distribution so that we can tackle this pay gap together an industry.'

The actual make-up of the two reporting units Hachette is using is: Hachette UK Ltd, comprising Hachette Children's Group, Headline, Hodder Education, Hodder & Stoughton, John Murray Press (including Jessica Kingsley) and Hachette central functions eg digital, legal, finance, comms and IT.

HUK Group meanwhile also includes Bookouture, Little, Brown, Octopus (with Summersdale and Kyle Cathie), Orion, Quercus, Hachette Distribution, Bookpoint and LBS. Summersdale, Kyle Cathie and Jessica Kingsley were acquired after the 2017 reporting date of 5 April 2017.

Hachette is confident that next year's figures will show a more marked move to gender pay equality as a result of a raft of measures the company has instituted over the last year.

'We filed our 2017 Gender Pay Gap Report on 21 March 2018, just two weeks before the "snapshot" date for reporting 2018. For this reason, most of the actions we have taken to address our gender pay gap are not reflected in the 2018 report. Their impact will be seen in the 2019 report.'

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