Not so equal: L’Oréal UK pay audit reveals women paid a third less than men

Not so equal: L’Oréal UK pay audit reveals women paid a third less than men

Data reported to the UK Government Equalities Office (GEO) has revealed that the gender pay gap is alive and well at L’Oréal UK. According to a report published by the Huffington Post, the hourly rate paid to women at the French beauty giant’s British division is on average 35.7 percent less than that paid to men.

The difference in bonuses is even more marked, with bonus pay awarded to female employees 56.7 percent less than that accorded to male workers.

“Being included in the Gender Equality Index will push us to work even harder to ensure that L’Oréal’s workplace is diverse, inclusive and supportive of our Beauty for All mission,” said CEO Jean Paul Agon.

The company attributes the pay disparity to the huge proportion of female employees at the company (84 percent of UK staff are women) – with female staff dominating in more junior roles such as beauty advisors and many working part time. Male employees occupy 30 percent of top roles at the firm.

“Our reported gender pay gap results from a large number of women in lower-paid retail roles, fewer men at entry level and more men in senior positions,” said a spokesperson for L’Oréal. “We are committed to closing this gap and in particular working to increase the number of women in more senior positions.”

L’Oréal has been widely recognized for its commitment to gender equality, with Agon awarded the Grand Prize for Diversity just last year. In France, where the Group has worked with the French national institute for demographic studies (INED) to analyze the pay gap since 2007, the gender-based pay gap on a like-for-like basis was under 4 percent in 2015 for management and non-existent for other categories of employees.

All companies in Great Britain with more than 250 employees are required to report their gender pay gap to the GEO by April 4, 2018. The information is to be made publicly available and, further, the GEO plans to publish sector-specific league tables highlighting those companies failing to address pay differences between men and women.