Pay gaps: So do you walk the walk, or just talk?

PRWeek asked agencies to say what they’ve done in the past two years to close their ethnicity and/or gender pay gaps. Here are some of their responses.

Pay gaps: So do you walk the walk, or just talk?

Manifest UK

We have developed relationships with job boards that cater to BAME candidates and we strive to keep applications open until we reach a threshold of applicants from ethnic minority groups; this threshold is benchmarked to the BAME population percentage of the UK. Doing this ensures that our applicant pool is always higher [than] or equal to the distribution within the general population.

Full Fat

This is a challenge that we haven’t always been good at addressing, so we now have very clear salary scales across every level across the agency. This was implemented in 2018 and is refreshed every year to ensure our salaries remain competitive and coincide with annual pay reviews.

Third City

Our priority is to increase BME representation at account manager level and above. We are long-term participants in the Taylor Bennett internship programme. We hired one new graduate from this programme in 2020. Our own recruitment programme has rigorous measures to ensure inclusivity.

“This includes a scoring system that assesses candidates based on ability, skills, experience, appropriate qualifications and aptitude. We have strict rules that prohibit nepotism, closed networks and favours in the hiring process.

“We pay all interns London minimum wage to ensure no one is excluded on the basis of their means or background. All of our staff have been trained to recognise their own unconscious bias, using an external DEI trainer.

“We now require any recruitment consultants we work with to demonstrate a wide hiring pool and to share their own DEI policy with us. We monitor diversity and inclusion among other suppliers across the business.


In August 2020 we launched our three-year equality, diversity and inclusion strategy. Here are the tangible commitments we’ve made to close the gap: 1. Monitoring and publishing EDI data. 2. Blind recruitment. We’ve been asking recruiters to send us blind CVs for the past 18 months, and this year implemented a new recruitment process for hiring direct – by having an ‘EDI assurance’ role remove all identifying factors (names, dates, images, LinkedIn URLs, etc) on CVs and applications before passing these on to the hiring team.

“3. Adhering to the ‘Rooney Rule’ – committing to interview at least one candidate from a minority background as part of every recruitment process. 4. An annual review of recruitment activity – each December we take stock of all hiring, recruitment and retention of staff, and measure against our EDI scorecard at a halfway point in the year. 5. Pay equity – we undertake an annual exercise to establish gender and ethnic pay gaps and have allocated a fund to fix discrepancies.

“6. Pay reviews – we review pay bands every year in line with the Major Players Salary Survey and similar surveys to ensure our pay is in line with industry standards. 7. Inclusive job descriptions – at the end of last year we reviewed our job descriptions, personal development plans and training and development policies.

“We’ve increased transparency around our promotion and pay rise processes, and equipped line managers with the tools they need to have practical conversations about pay rise and promotion opportunities. 8. Revising and updating our policies – we’re about to relaunch our parental leave policy, and launch a period policy focused on dealing with the side-effects.


Blind recruitment; investment in female leadership potential; fair and transparent promotions; pay and reward processes; expanded and harmonised maternity, paternity and family friendly policies; improved work-life balance; flexible and welcoming work environment that attracts and retains working mothers and parents.

Milk & Honey PR


Forster Communications


Whitehouse Communications


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