More and more, responsible consumers are trying where possible to part with our pounds only for companies and brands that we feel share our values. From having proper recycling practices in place in a chain of restaurants, to representing a diverse range of skin tones in a beauty brand’s foundation range, how a brand behaves behind the scenes has never been so important.
In light of this week’s deadline for British companies with more than 250 employees to report on their gender pay gaps, here’s a shortlist of some of the exemplary brands leading the charge with pay parity. This list is by no means exhaustive, but a good place to start. The power is in your pounds, use wisely.
This one really thrilled us. The much-loved chain of restaurants serving up Japanese inspired cuisine has done us proud. While some may find it irritating that you’ll never get your meal at the same time as your friend does, be comforted by the fact that the women’s mean hourly rate is 8.8% higher than men’s at Wagamama. In other words when comparing mean hourly rates, women earn £1.09 for every £1 that men earn. They also have a female CEO, are members of the sustainable restaurant association and all of their restaurants are powered by renewable electricity. Katsu curries all round to celebrate.
This is actually a real revelation in terms of who we can shop with because without exaggeration, Unilever as an umbrella company seemingly own everything. From household products like Domestos, Persil and Surf to bathroom brands Sure and Dove, all the way to kitchen cupboard essentials Hellmann’s, Ben & Jerry’s and PG Tips. Phew.
According to their gender pay gap report, women at Unilever UK earn around 9% more than men, mostly due to the fact that 50.7% of all management positions at the consumer goods giant are held by women. Like many of the companies we’ve researched, Unilever’s male employees receive bonuses worth 27.7% more than those paid to women. "The mean bonus gap is influenced by a higher proportion of men in more senior roles," Unilever said. Room for improvement sure, but a great start.
Despite the fact that only 18% of the online supermarket’s employees are female, that number are paid 1.4% per hour more than male employees. While more men than women are paid bonuses – 70% of the male staff compared to 66% of women – female staff earn a higher commission (approx 3% more) than their male colleagues. At last, a place to stock up on all those Unilever products guilt-free
If buying wine features regularly on your list of outgoings, best read on. Women at the wine warehouse chain earn a mean hourly rate that is 2.5% higher than men’s. If you look closely at the bonus situation, even though the 3% more men than women received bonuses (80% of women did compared with 92% of men), the mean bonus payouts were not any lower for women than for men.
The British Museum
If you’re off to a day of culture, may we recommend you visit The British Museum. In their March 2017 report, they found that The British Museum had no mean gender pay gap and they paid females a median average of 4% more than males. Speaking recently to The Telegraph, a spokeswoman for the museum explained "This is not the result of a specific intervention or policy, but rather we hope is a reflection of a lack of institutional bias in terms of gender."
Well this makes the confusion of who to rent a car from a little easier. The car hire company’s April 2017 report found that women were actually paid 4.2% more than their male counterparts, for average hourly fixed rates. The report also says that the average bonuses paid to women were higher than those of men, and that proportionately, women were given more bonuses than men.
British bicycle store Evans Cycles’ gender pay gap report revealed that they actually pay women 6.6% more per hour than men. However, when you dig a little deeper, the report also shows that 8% more males are receiving bonuses than females.
"We believe that this is because in the 2016 financial year our retail and warehouse colleagues (who have a higher male population) received more bonus payment due to the structure and targets, set out in their bonus scheme," the report explains. While it isn’t a perfect scenario, it is definitely pretty damn good.
This Burnley-based company is one of the largest manufacturers of beds in the UK, and if shopping for a place to rest your head is on your agenda, it might be worth parting ways with your precious GBPs with them. Why? According to the gender pay gap report, even though only a small number of women work at Sweet Dreams, relatively speaking, the women’s mean hourly rate is 46.4% higher than men’s, and because the company didn’t pay out any bonuses, that figure is final.