UK Gender Pay Gap in Packaging
How big is the UK’s gender pay gap in packaging and who are the worst offenders? – GlobalData exclusive
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Recent research by Inside Packaging’s parent company, GlobalData, into the gender pay gap within the UK packaging industry reveals that 77.8% of companies pay their male employees more than their female staff.
The figures, which are based on reporting from all companies with a headcount of 250 employees or more in the country, show that six of the 27 companies that had reported their pay figures, had a higher women’s median hourly pay than men.
Across the sector, men’s median hourly pay was 8% higher than that of women. This puts the packaging industry below the national average of 11.6%.
A higher gender pay gap does not necessarily imply that women are paid less for the same jobs, as this is illegal under the 1970 Equal Pay Act. Instead, it may suggest that men tend to dominate the top-paying jobs within companies.
Women working in packaging occupied 23.6% of the top-paying jobs in the industry, with the rest of the top spots (76.4%) occupied by men. At the other end of the pay scale, women accounted for 34.4% of the lowest-paid jobs in the UK’s packaging industry.
On average, women also received 34.8% more in bonuses compared to their male co-workers.
Among companies in the packaging industry, Sealed Air had the biggest difference in median hourly pay, with women earning 29.1% less than men. That means that for each GBP1 earned by men in the company, women earned GBP0.71. The company was followed by Amcor Flexibles UK with a pay gap of 19% and Maynard & Harris Plastics with 18.6%.
At the other end, Macfarlane Group UK paid women 14.2% more than men for each hour worked, followed by Logoplaste UK, which paid women 11% more and Coveris Louth, which paid women 10.7% more.
The gender pay gap in the UK’s packaging industry has decreased in the 2021-22 reporting year compared to the year before.
The data provides several summary indicators, including the difference in mean and median pay for the two genders. Mean pay indicates the average pay across each group, while the median is the value that sits in the middle of a list of salaries arranged from lowest to highest, with half of the salaries being lower than the median and the other half being higher. The median is used to prevent extreme values at either end of the pay scale (a CEO’s salary, for example) from skewing the average. Both indicators have advantages and disadvantages.
To create an indicator for the packaging industry, GlobalData averaged the median pay gaps in the industry and weighted them by the company size. That way, a company with 20,000+ employees would influence the average more than a company that employs 250.
While the figures are a good indication of the issue in packaging, they should not necessarily be taken at face value. As the first chart suggests, many companies report a gender pay gap of zero, which is statistically improbable. A minority of companies also reported a gender pay gap of 100%, which might indicate they have no female employees at all.
Because companies are only compelled to disclose summary statistics, these figures cannot be verified.
Main image: Tero Vesalainen | Shutterstock