Gender pay gap in FTSE 100 companies falls by just 1.2% since 2017

An analysis of the gender pay gap in FTSE 100 companies shows very slow progress since 2017, with 30% of companies going backwards.

Illustration of gender pay gap with money and seesaw - FTSE100 directors


The gender pay gap among FTSE 100 companies has fallen by just 1.2% since 2017 while almost a third of companies have increased their gap in that time, according to recent analysis.

HR DataHub – a company that provides technology-powered HR insights – reviewed government GPG files and FTSE 100 GPG company reports dating back to 2017 (the year GPG legislation was introduced) to gain an understanding of the FTSE 100’s approach to GPG reporting.

The review shows that  also found that 70% have reduced their GPG while 30% have increased it since 2017.  Nine increased their median GPG by more than 5% and 15 have increased their median GPG by 0%-5%. Nineteen of the FTSE 100 have never publicly reported their data over the five years the GPG has been running.

David Whitfield, Co-Founder of HR DataHub, said: “The 19 companies that failed to report their gender pay gap in 2022 are not legally obliged to report because they do not have a legal entity in the UK with more than 250 employees. However, we would expect to see these organisations voluntarily file given their influential position on the FTSE 100. Not doing so reveals a great deal. Firstly, that these organisations are not striving to build a world with gender equality. Secondly, without legislation, companies are unlikely to step up and report voluntarily.”

HR DataHub also drilled down into the year-on-year change in median GPG amongst the FTSE 100.

In 2018, the median pay gap of the FTSE 100 was 17.7% and in 2019 this reduced again to 15.35%. However, in 2020 the median GPG of the FTSE 100 jumped to 18.7% – a 3.4% increase on the previous year. In 2022, HR DataHub found the median GPG of the FTSE 100 to be 16.5%, which is 1.15% wider than it was three years ago.

Within its review of the FTSE 100, HR DataHub identified the most impactful measures organisations have taken to reduce their GPG.

Setting diversity targets and mentoring were found to be the two most impactful measures whilst targeted development programmes and dedicated leadership programmes were also found to be highly impactful.

The top 10 most impactful GPG reduction methods amongst the FTSE 100 were found to be:

  1. Set diversity targets
  2. Mentoring
  3. Targeted development programmes
  4. Dedicated leadership programmes
  5. External forum and/or charter members
  6. D&I awareness training
  7. Internal networking groups
  8. Formal learning and development programmes
  9. Training provided to recruiters and interview panels
  10.  Flexible working patterns

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