Reckitt Gender-Pay Gap Narrows in Favor of U.K. Women

Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc’s U.K. gender-pay gap moved broadly in favor of women last year, according to a new equality report by the consumer-goods giant that expanded research to 10 countries.

The median U.K.-based female employee was paid 6.1% more than her male equivalent as of April 2020, up from 3.8% the year before, data published Wednesday show. Average pay in the country remained skewed in favor of men, though at a narrower percentage rate than in 2019.

The maker of brands including Dettol, Clearasil and Durex in part explains the difference by the large number of employees -- about a fifth of the U.K. workforce -- employed in manufacturing. Those jobs are dominated by lower-paid men, pushing the median pay toward women. However, the number of male senior managers moves the average salary the opposite direction.

That dynamic is further reflected in bonuses, with the mean amount 58% in favor of men.

Reckitt’s pay gap shrunk along with the rest of the U.K., though the national margin is still heavily tilted toward men. The median salary difference in the country was 15.5% in favor of men in 2020, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Meanwhile, the World Economic Forum published findings that the Covid-19 pandemic had reversed years of work globally. That’s because lockdowns have hit female-dominated sectors hardest and left women doing more household chores, the organization said.

Reckitt reported gender-pay data from countries including Russia and Brazil for the first time, extending coverage to about 70% of the workforce.

The company is not “comfortable with the consequences of this gender imbalance at senior levels” and is working to address the issue, it said in the report.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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