NEWS2 March 2018

WPP publishes UK gender pay gap data

Media News People UK

UK – WPP has published a report on gender pay gap across its UK companies with over 250 staff, highlighting a median pay gap of 14.6%, with Kantar Media one of only two companies to show a median pay gap in favour of women.

Wpp gender gap_crop

The company has published the data for all of its agencies to qualify for the study (those with 250 or more employees), including Millward Brown, Kantar Media and advertising agencies JWT London and Ogilvy & Mather. The report shows a median pay gap of 14.6%, while WPP’s group mean pay gap is 25.5%. 

According to the study, Kantar Media had a 12.7% median gap in favour of women. PR agency Hill & Knowlton was the only other agency to show a gap favouring women ( 3.9%).

Creative agency JWT London had the biggest gender gap in pay, at 44.7%, followed by AKQA ( 30.5%). Kantar TNS had a median gap of 16.9%, while Millward Brown had a gap of 8.1%.

While WPP has a gender balance of 51% men and 49% women, it said that fewer women in senior roles has resulted in a gap in pay. Men comprise 62% of the highest pay quartile, according to the study, while women account for 55% in the lowest, i.e. the most junior positions. This also means there is a difference in bonus payments between the genders (a median gap of 46.3% and a mean gap of 84.1%).

From 2017, the government made it mandatory for companies with a headcount of 250 or above to publish details of their gender pay gap annually.

Karen Blackett OBE, UK country manager at WPP, said: “WPP does not struggle to attract female talent. Nonetheless, in common with the industry as a whole, we need to do more to change the gender profile of our leadership teams if we are to close our pay gap.”

Blackett said the agency network would focus its efforts on developing female leaders within its companies by “actively promoting best practice” in recruitment, training, mentoring, parental leave and flexible working.

This week, WPP posted sluggish financial results for 2017, which chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell said had not been "a pretty year" for the company.