Asda has unveiled that it pays its average female worker 12.5 per cent less than its average male worker, attributing the divide to a gender imbalance across seniority levels.
The retailer said that in 2017, the median pay difference between all men and women it employed was 8.9 per cent, which was better than the national average which it cites as 18.4 per cent.
Its mean gender pay gap was also better than the national average of 17.4 per cent.
Asda’s gap is the same as that reported by Marks & Spencer earlier this week and like its rival, Asda also attributed the divide to men tending to dominate more senior positions within the company.
Asda said that just 35 per cent of those occupying senior roles are women and 70 per cent of those in junior roles are female.
The supermarket chain also said, however, that 86 per cent of staff work in hourly paid roles in stores, which have a set base rates of pay. The median gender pay gap within that population and based on those rates alone, it said, is zero and the mean gender pay gap is 0.7 per cent.
“Rates of pay and access to benefits and opportunities are the same at Asda, regardless of gender,” said Asda’s senior vice president of people, Hayley Tatum.
“Whilst our gender pay gap is better than the national average we recognise that, like many businesses, we have challenges when it comes to female representation in more senior roles – and that is something we’re committed to addressing,” she added.
Asda said that it had introduced “flexible job design” and “unconscious bias training to ensure talented women are encouraged and enabled to progress into more senior roles”.
Around 80 per cent of firms that have published their gender pay gap figures so far have admitted to awarding men, on average, higher salaries than women, according to the latest government figures.
More than 1,000 companies have so far made their gender pay gap reports public but around 8,000 that employ at least 250 people are still required to do so by that April deadline.