SSE has become the first FTSE 100 company to publish its gender pay gap in line with the government’s new Gender Pay Gap Reporting requirements, well in advance of the 4 April 2018 deadline. This is the second year in a row that SSE has published these figures, having voluntarily reported its gender pay gap statistics last year before it became mandatory.
The government’s Equality Act 2010 decrees all UK businesses with more than 250 employees will need to publish their gender pay gap statistics as at 5 April 2017 within one year, and then on an annual basis after that. SSE’s median gender pay gap of 19.3% in 2016/17 is slightly higher than its gap in 2015/16 of 18.7%. This widening of the gap is not unexpected and is a consequence of SSE’s strategy to become more inclusive and diverse – and close the gap in the long-run.
John Stewart, SSE’s Director of Human Resources, said: “In 2016 SSE became one of the first FTSE 100 companies to publish its gender pay gap, using the draft regulations available at the time. That exercise was both interesting and instructive and SSE now has two years of data to understand and act upon.
“Genuine transformation for SSE, and across the UK’s labour market, will require meaningful societal changes as well as improvements at organisational-level. SSE is committed to being a leader for driving change in both of these areas.”
Minister of State for Apprenticeships, Skills and Women Anne Milton, said: “It is fantastic to see employers like SSE taking this important step in tackling the gender pay gap. They are setting an excellent example for other employers as we build a stronger, fairer country where success is defined by work and talent, not gender or circumstance.
“We have more women in work than ever before and the gender pay gap is at a record low, but there is more to do. Closing the gender pay gap isn’t just the right thing to do, it also makes good business sense, so that employers can take action to make sure every employee reaches their full potential.”
Last year when SSE reported its gender diversity strategy it focused on three elements: encouraging women in, supporting women to stay on, and helping women to progress up. It did this using a number of different strategies ranging from its sponsorship of women’s sports to piloting “returnships” which encouraged women who had taken career breaks back into the industry.
In the next, natural step, SSE will next week publish its Valuing Difference report which undertakes a detailed analysis of the effectiveness of SSE’s initiatives to become more inclusive.