The company said it is "unlikely to achieve absolute gender balance" given the composition of its workforce, although it said the gap has narrowed in recent years.
The UK’s biggest PR agency has revealed its figures today ahead of the statutory deadline of 4 April for firms that employ more than 250 people. The figures are based on hourly rates of pay on a snapshot date of 5 April 2017.
Edelman UK’s Gender Pay Gap Report also reveals a significant ‘gender bonus gap’ at the agency.
Bonuses paid to male employees at Edelman UK are 44.18 per cent higher on a median basis than those paid to their female counterparts. The mean average gap is 53.55 per cent.
A higher proportion of women than men received a bonus - 56.74 per cent versus 51.12 per cent. Edelman UK explained that of the 272 bonuses paid in the 12 months to 5 April 2017, "the majority were discretionary ad hoc bonuses paid to junior/mid-level staff – a larger share of whom are women… whereas a higher proportion of the total male population received business performance-related bonuses".
Regarding the overall gender pay gap, Edelman UK said: "The gap is measured by comparing the overall female population of the firm with the overall male population, rather than looking at like-for-like roles. In our case, this entails comparing a larger group of female employees with a smaller group of male employees.
"Our female employee population is distributed more evenly across all levels of the firm, but our male population skews towards middle to senior roles, which is causing the gap."
The agency said 63 per cent of its 479-strong workforce is female.
"With this workplace composition, we are unlikely to achieve absolute gender balance across all roles in the organisation, which is why we strive for 50:50 gender parity in our most senior roles. We are pleased to say we are close to achieving 50:50 gender balance at the top of the organisation and that continues to be our goal."
Women outnumber men in each of the four ‘quartiles’ of the business. In the lower quartile, which looks at the 25 per cent of employees paid the least, 66 per cent are female. The female proportion in the next three quartiles is 64 per cent, 69 per cent and 53 per cent respectively.
Changes since 2012
As part of the report, Edelman said it has tracked its progress on gender pay since 2012. Since that year, its median gender pay gap has reduced from 16.11 per cent to the current 10.36 per cent.
The mean gap has also narrowed, from 24.33 per cent to 21.33 per cent. Female representation in the top quartile has improved by seven percentage points since 2012, the company stated.
In the report, Edelman UK points to specific initiatives to promote and develop the "next generation of leaders and ensuring there are opportunities for everyone at Edelman to progress in their careers".
Initiatives include investment in career management and leadership development for those in middle and senior management roles and informal and formal mentoring schemes. The company also highlighted its "enhanced maternity offering".
"We will continue to strengthen recruitment practices by ensuring female candidates are sought for all disciplines, and shortlists and interview panels are gender balanced," Edelman UK said.
"And each member of the Edelman UK executive committee will have a personal objective and a departmental plan relating to diversity and inclusion."
Golin UK recently revealed that it had a reverse gender pay gap, meaning women at the firm are paid more.
A report from the CIPR last year pointed to a "true" gender pay gap in the UK PR industry of £5,784.
The banking sector is among those to receive particular criticism for paying women less than men. Barclays International has revealed a 43.5 per cent median pay gap, while Lloyds Bank, including subsidiaries Cheltenham & Gloucester and HBOS, had a median pay gap of 32.8 per cent.
Last year the BBC was subject to a backlash for paying some male presenters more than their female equivalents. The broadcaster’s overall gender pay gap stands at 10 per cent.
According to the Office for National Statistics, the median gender pay gap in the UK in 2017 was 18.4 per cent, and the mean gap was 17.4 per cent.
The deadline for public sector employers to report their gender pay gap is 30 March. The Department for Education became the first to do so last June, when it reported a mean gender pay gap of 5.3 per cent and a median pay gap of 5.9 per cent.
The Government is publishing details of the gender pay gap at different UK organisations online – click here to read it.
- PRWeek is hosting a must-attend breakfast briefing on developing comms strategies around gender pay gap reporting in London on Wednesday (28 March). Tickets are still available for the event, which takes place at the London office of Golin – click here to book.