SCOTLAND’S biggest salmon farmer, Mowi, said it is working towards closing the gender pay gap among its staff.
The company’s human resources manager, Joanna Peeling, told Mowi’s May newsletter that they have equal pay for work of equal value, rewarding staff for the role not their gender.
The company recently published statistics on its gender pay gap, the difference in the average pay and bonuses of all men and women across the organisation.
Peeling told The Scoop that the median (mid point) hourly wage for a man is 2.2 per cent higher than for a woman, while the mean (average) hourly wage for a man is 22 per cent higher.
‘Over the last year, the gap has widened most at the most senior level in the organisation,’ said Peeling.
‘We believe this reflects the fact that, traditionally, the farming sector has been male dominated and that the most senior roles are often filled by those with the longest experience.
‘More females are joining our business and, as they build their experience, the gap should close and be reflected in the statistics in future years.’
The statistics are calculated by splitting all employees in the organisation into four even groups according to their level of pay.
This year, women occupy 12.4 per cent of the highest paid jobs and 14.8 per cent of the lowest paid jobs. In 2017, women occupied 12 per cent of the highest paid jobs and 16.2 per cent of the lowest paid jobs.
‘This is good progress and indicates positive movement in women’s earnings as they progress through the organisation,’ said Peeling.
‘Obviously, it does also highlight that we continue to operate in an environment with a significantly high proportion of males to females overall. To me, this is as much an opportunity as it is a challenge.’
In Mowi’s Consumer Products UK division, the median hourly wage for a woman is 1.6 per cent higher than for a man, but the mean hourly wage for a woman is 4.7 per cent lower.
Women occupy 44.2 per cent of the jobs in the upper middle quartile compared to 24.4 per cent last year.
And females occupy 22.1 per cent of the jobs in the lower quartile compared to 28.3 per cent last year.
‘What this pay quartile shows us is that, in general, women are being promoted into more senior roles or are joining the organisation at more senior levels than previously,’ said Peeling.
‘At the same time, following a big recruitment drive at Rosyth when this data was captured, women are making up a higher proportion of entry level roles.
‘We can expect these women to progress through the organisation into more skilled roles and therefore a higher pay quartile.
‘As with the farming side of the business, we still have a higher proportion of men to women overall.’
Mowi is striving to challenge the historical gender pay gap, said Peeling.
‘We are working hard with schools, colleges, universities and community bodies, as well as running media and social media campaigns to raise awareness that we have opportunities to attract everybody, regardless of gender.
‘Our recent campaign for International Women’s Day shows that more and more women are choosing aquaculture as a career.’