Here at the UK Warehousing Association, our gender pay gap used to be huge, but it has recently reduced to a negative number. On average, women get paid more than men here now. Of course, gender pay gap reporting is not a legal requirement for companies with fewer than 250 employees, so there is no need to report the change. That makes sense, because in a trade association with half a dozen employees, when the man doing the most well-paid job is replaced by a woman, the effect can be dramatic.

Clare Bottle
UKWA, CEO

Since the first reports were required in the UK in 2018, Aricia Consulting has been tracking the gender pay gap for Women in Logistics UK, with a sector-specific focus. They found that although the proportion of women working in logistics appears to have been slowly increasing, there has been no real improvement in the gender pay gap. In logistics, on average, women’s pay is 12% less than men’s. One probable reason for this, is that women are more likely to be doing the lower paid jobs in our companies, but remain under-represented in more senior and well-paid roles.

The government’s guidance specifically states: “Hiring more women in senior positions is not the only action that’s needed to close the gender pay gap”. Drawing on research from Harvard University, they suggest taking action to make recruitment more equitable and pay and promotion more transparent. UKWA members XPO Logistics and Coca-Cola Europacific Partners have partnered with Cranfield University to research this further and develop an evidence-based toolkit specifically for the logistics sector, to increase the proportion of women in management. Their findings are due to be published this autumn.

During the pandemic, reporting timescales for the gender pay gap were relaxed as businesses dealt with an onslaught of very immediate challenges. Reports based on the data from April 2020 do not have to be filed until the beginning of October 2021, so it will be some time before we see the impact of recent economic shocks such as Brexit and Covid-19 reflected in the published numbers.

Meanwhile, the logistics sector is full of high-profile news about the driver shortage. It is a very real problem which has been building over decades. There are labour constraints and skills gaps in several areas of employment, but it will be interesting to see whether this particular labour shortage leads to a sustained increase in drivers’ pay. If so, then by default it will drive men’s wages up, but not women’s. Over 96% of licence holders – and more than 98% of employed C+E drivers – are men. Once the reporting lag catches up, I predict that we will see the gender pay gap get worse in logistics.

Clare Bottle

UKWA, CEO

 

Comments are closed.

Get Warehouse & Logistics News delivered to your inbox for FREE
SUBSCRIBE NOW!
Join over 45k subscribers