Mixed gender pay gap performance from top contractors

8 April 2019 | By Neil Gerrard

Image: Green denotes a fall in hourly rate on 2017-18, red denotes a rise, grey denotes no change

The construction industry’s attempts to narrow the gender pay gap have met with mixed results in 2019, a year on from when firms with over 250 employees were first obliged to report on the issue.

Construction Manager’s analysis of some of the biggest names in UK contracting shows that while some companies like Mace and ISG, have managed to close the gap between what men and women are paid (albeit starting with a large disparity), others such as Interserve and Galliford Try have gone in the other direction.

Of the nine major contractors whose figures for the year to 5 April 2019 were examined by CM. Bam Construct topped the list with the highest mean and median hourly differences in hourly pay rate in 2018/19, at 45.4% and 55.2% respectively, although both represented a modest decrease on the year before.

Second was Multiplex which recorded mean and median differences in hourly pay of 42.5% and 46% respectively, both of which again represented slightly reductions on the year before.

Interserve's mean difference in hourly rate in 2018/19 stood at 33.3%, which was an increase on 30.3% last year. Its median difference in hourly rate also rose from 28.7% in 2017/18 to 32% in 2018/19.

Meanwhile, Mace saw an improvement but still had the sixth mean difference in hourly rate at 33% (down from 34.5% in 2017/18) out of the largest main contractors analysed by CM.

Commenting on the figures, a spokesman for Galliford Try said: “Galliford Try continues to work to improve its gender pay data. Progress this year has been encouraging, particularly across our early careers programme, where the median gender pay gap stands at 5.4%.

“We continue to promote agile working practices, which help us recruit and retain people from a variety of backgrounds and we remain committed to operating an inclusive environment where everyone has an equal opportunity to achieve their potential.

“The median pay gap throughout the business remains too high however, mainly due to an underrepresentation of women at a senior level, an issue that is prevalent throughout our industry. Steps we have taken to address this include improvements to our succession planning process and the mandatory shortlisting of women for senior roles, which we believe will be reflected by an improved performance in the years to come.”

Wates Group HR director Paul Rowan said: “The imbalance of gender distribution across roles in the wider construction industry remains a long-term challenge for all of us in the sector. Wates Group has been exploring how we recruit, retain, and develop women at every stage of the employee lifecycle: from our early careers recruitment, where we now ensure at least one female assessor at the assessment centres; to developing women into leadership roles, through the creation of a new Women’s Leadership group to provide dedicated mentoring to female employees, we are demonstrating some early success. With the appointment of a new Head of Diversity and Inclusion this year we hope to see further improvements.”

Willmott Dixon chief executive Rick Willmott, gender pay gap report 2018, said: "Gender pay gap (GPG) figures show the overall percentage difference in average hourly pay between men and women, regardless of the job they do. Equal pay is about ensuring women and men are paid equally for doing equal work.

"We are confident that our men and women receive equal pay because we carry out regular reviews of pay to ensure this is the case. If there are any differences it is due to factors such as qualifications and experience, not gender."

Image: Green denotes a fall in hourly rate on 2017-18, red denotes a rise, grey denotes no change


In the past I've not had equal pay with colleagues whose work I've done because they couldn't do it, but being male no one has given a damn.

Is there a government body I can make a complaint to, that with my being male will give a toss?

John, 8 April 2019

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