Yesterday, MBW revealed that the average gender pay gap across the three major labels in the UK was 33.8%.
This figure has caused plenty of debate since we reported the numbers (read MBW Contributing Editor Rhian Jones’s take through here).
The worst culprit of all three major labels was Warner, which posted a 49% average gender pay gap in its report. Next up was Universal on 29.8%, with Sony showing the narrowest mean gap, at 22.7%.
These figures all relate to April 5, 2017 – and all three majors say they have taken steps to improve their statistics in the 12 months since.
Here, taken from the submitted reports of each major, the companies address their respective gender pay gaps – and what they’re going to do about them.
Morna Cook MBE, Senor Director of HR, Universal Music UK
“At Universal Music, diversity and inclusion isn’t driven by compliance or obligation. Success in our fast-evolving industry depends on us attracting people from all kinds of backgrounds, and having a team that truly reflects and supports the incredible diversity of our artist roster and society. Uniquely in the UK music industry, two of our five ‘frontline’ labels are now led by female presidents – promotions not reflected in the period covered by this report.
“The Gender Pay Report we are publishing today, which covers every Universal Music employee based in the UK, shows a gender pay gap which is unacceptable to us. The gap is due to having fewer women than men in senior positions, something we are addressing. We have put in place several measures to accelerate our efforts to promote inclusion and diversity in all its forms.
“This report shows a gender pay gap which is unacceptable to us. The gap is due to having fewer women than men in senior positions, something we are addressing.”
“Our industry-leading paid intern scheme has seen more than 400 interns come through our doors since 2009, more than half of them women. It has provided many the crucial first opportunity to get their foot in the industry’s proverbial door. However we understand that encouraging a diverse range of people to join us is just one step, so we are also focused on career development to foster the advancement of our female executives.
“Growing numbers of our staff are now being mentored or coached – especially women embarking on and returning from maternity leave. Alongside our family-friendly policies, we offer bespoke development programmes, with more than two-thirds of those who benefited in 2017 being women.
“We have put in place, and are continuing to build, a development plan to increase the number of women in our A&R teams to more closely reflect the overall 50:50 gender splits in our frontline labels. The average pay gap between women and men at Universal is reducing, although it has been a long-term transition.”
“It’s worth noting that our headline pay gap figures are influenced by bonuses paid to senior A&R staff, an area of the music business which is still male-dominated. To help address that, we have put in place, and are continuing to build, a development plan to increase the number of women in our A&R teams to more closely reflect the overall 50:50 gender splits in our frontline labels. The average pay gap between women and men at Universal is reducing, although it has been a long-term transition.
“Since 2007 our median gender pay gap has fallen from 30.3% to 16.7%, while our mean pay gap has reduced from 37.7% to 29.8%. Despite this progress, we are very clear that there is still much more to be done. Diversity and inclusion is, and will remain, at the very top of our agenda.”
Sony Music, company statement
“We believe creativity is a product of diversity; of bringing together the best talent wherever it’s found, giving everyone the same opportunities to thrive, and rewarding each person’s contribution fairly.
“We welcome the challenge gender pay gap reporting sets every business – including ours – to be accountable, own the issue and create change. By putting our figures on the record, we can work towards a better mix and a fairer world.
“Our median gender pay gap (4.6%) – the best indicator according to the Office for National Statistics – is better than the national average (9.1%). The median gap best reflects the position for most employees. This is supported by our bonus gap.
“Our median gender pay gap (4.6%) – the best indicator according to the Office for National Statistics – is better than the national average (9.1%).”
“An equal proportion of women (75.3%) and men (74.3%) receive bonuses, and we’ve almost eliminated our median gap (0.2%). Our mean pay and bonus gaps are higher. The pay band figures reveal the key factor: there are fewer women (36.7%) in the upper quartile. While our gender pay gap is closing, having fewer women in the most senior roles has had an impact.
“Over the past year, more than half of new joiners were women, while over a third were from BAME backgrounds. We have one of the industry’s most attractive maternity leave policies.”
“Over the past year, more than half of new joiners were women, while over a third were from BAME backgrounds. We have one of the industry’s most attractive maternity leave policies. We’ll continue to support working parents by developing a more robust return to work programme. We’ll continue to deliver learning programs that enable all our people to reach their full potential within an open and inclusive environment.
“We’ll use a range of recruitment sources to attract diverse talent and ensure balanced shortlists.”
Masha Osherova, Executive Vice President, Human Resources, Warner Music Group
“Our current gender pay gap numbers make starkly clear the need for us to accelerate the pace of change within our company. For the past three years, we’ve been focused on making WMUK a more dynamic and forward-thinking organisation.
“While we’ve made real progress in many different areas, we’re acutely aware there’s still much more work to do, especially if we are to be as diverse and inclusive as we aspire to be and if we are to increase the number of women in leadership roles.
“Our pay gap is not an equal pay issue. For us, ‘equal pay for equal work’ is a fundamental principle, just as it’s, rightly, a legal requirement. For the avoidance of doubt, Warner Music UK is confident that it adheres with the equal pay criteria set out in 2010’s Equality Act.
“Our current gender pay gap numbers make starkly clear the need for us to accelerate the pace of change within our company.”
“Our median gender pay gap, at 21%, sits slightly over the UK national average but our larger mean gender pay gap is influenced by the imbalance of men and women in our senior leadership roles. Within these roles, both pay and bonus are heavily linked to the delivery of commercial performance, and therefore show greater variance than at other levels of our business.
“We’re attracting more women than men in more junior positions, but we’re not seeing enough of them progress through the organisation to the highest paid, leadership roles.
“We’re attracting more women than men in more junior positions, but we’re not seeing enough of them progress through the organisation to the highest paid, leadership roles.”
“Rectifying this trend is an urgent priority. We continue to look forensically across our entire company, from many different perspectives, to activate the right Diversity & Inclusion strategies and to ensure mindful action is happening every day.
“Meaningful and sustained change will take time, serious investment and consistent focus. We’re committed to making the right changes and working towards closing this gap.”
[Warner’s report further clarifies: “In terms of bonus participation, all of our permanent employees are eligible for our company bonus scheme. However, eligibility each year is determined by an individual’s start date – new employees starting on the 1st July or later are not eligible for a bonus until the following financial year. The disparity in male and female bonus participation indicates that more female employees joined after this threshold date.”]
Read Warner’s full gender pay gap submission here.Music Business Worldwide