The Gender Pay Gap in High-Growth UK Companies
LUCY WILSON, 17 AUG 2022
We recently reported on the gender gap in UK startups and scaleups, having found that only 26% of high-growth companies have a female founder, and that just 15p in every £1 invested via equity rounds last year went to these businesses. Now, we’ve added public gender pay gap data to company profiles on the Beauhurst platform, to help our subscribers quickly identify and research companies based on this information.
In this piece, we explore our latest product update and dig into the data, to uncover which types of high-growth businesses are most likely to have no gender pay gap.
Tracking the gender pay gap at UK companies
Beauhurst subscribers now have access to the Government Equalities Office gender pay gap data for all qualifying UK companies. Every business in the UK with more than 250 full time employees has to report this data each year (smaller companies can choose to report this too). This means that our All Company Data subscribers can now see the gender pay gap for more than 11k companies across the country.
Among Beauhurst-tracked companies—private UK businesses that have hit one or more of our high-growth triggers—973 have reported gender pay gap data, with one in four of them reporting a median gap of less than 1% (in either direction). More specifically, 156 of these businesses have reported a median gender pay gap of exactly 0%. But what does this look like when broken down by criteria such as industry, geography and founder gender? Read on to find out.
It seems that certain high-growth sectors in the UK are much more likely than others to have no gender pay gap. Within the Leisure and Entertainment sector, for example, 26% of high-growth UK businesses that report gender pay gap data have a median gap of 0%. Likewise, 26% of reporting companies in the Personal Services sector report equal pay for male and female employees.
In contrast, just 9% of Technology and IP-based businesses that report this data have a median gender pay gap of 0%. And for Built Environment and Infrastructure companies, this figure is less than 7%.
Across most UK regions, the proportion of high-growth reporting companies that provide equal pay to male and female employees is between 13% and 19%. Bucking this trend, however, is the North West of England—just 10% of reporting companies in this region have no median gender pay gap.
Whereas, its neighbour Yorkshire and The Humber is home to one of the smallest proportions of high-growth companies that report this data, yet makes up a relatively high proportion of those with a median gender pay gap of 0%. As a result, an impressive 23% of Yorkshire and The Humber’s reporting companies have no median pay gap.
It seems founder gender is also strongly related to how likely a company is to be an equal pay employer. Among high-growth reporting companies for which founder gender is known, 84% have an all-male founding team, while 9% have an equal split of male and female founders, and just 5% have an all-female founding team.
In comparison, when looking specifically at high-growth companies that have reported a median gender pay gap of 0%, the proportion of businesses with female founders is far higher: 71% have an all-male founding team, 15% all-female, and 14% equal split.
How to use our new gender pay gap data
Refine your company search
Let’s say you work at a local enterprise partnership, and you’re looking for companies that need support in closing their gender pay gap. Using Beauhurst’s Advanced Search tool, you can filter your results by the difference in hourly pay between men and women, to discover businesses that need your help. Alternatively, you could identify shining examples of companies that drive equal pay across their workforce.
With thousands of data points to choose from, you can narrow your search to find specific subsets of businesses that are most relevant to you—whether it’s pharmaceutical companies in Cambridge you’re after or Bristol-based startups that have raised VC investment.
Carry out due diligence
Perhaps you want to research the gender pay gap for businesses you’re considering working with. You can deep dive into the pay distribution of a single company, using the People section of its Beauhurst profile.
You can even go beyond average hourly pay, and explore the difference in bonuses and gender distribution across pay quartiles as well. This could help you to uncover potential reasons behind a company’s pay gap.
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