Furniture Village Gender Pay Gap Report 2021

Introduction

At Furniture Village we know that people are our greatest strength and we are fortunate to have a hugely talented and committed workforce, with equal opportunity given to everyone, both in joining our business and prospering thereafter.

Indeed, being able to share in the success of one’s efforts underpins the ethos of the company, and through a program of development, training, recognition, and reward, we strive to ensure that every employee has an opportunity to reach their full potential.

We are absolutely unequivocal in both welcoming diversity of gender into every area and level of our business and ensuring that male and female employees always receive equal pay for equal roles.

Proportion of Male and Female Employees

Our data this year is based on 1,105 employees as of April 2021. Our business continues to encompass a wide range of roles, with our 2021 employee base 71% male and 29% female. This ratio is typical within the furniture retail sector and is in part due to a male bias towards our highly skilled Retail Sales Team, with these positions offering the opportunity to earn large performance related remuneration and these employees often occupying places amongst the top earners within the company.

Whilst these positions have been traditionally biased towards males, in part due to weekend working hours, we have many very successful females in these roles and are actively seeking to understand how we can attract more females into these positions.

In addition, we run our own Warehouse, Distribution and Logistics operation, with this also tending towards a male bias, again influencing the ratios between male and female employees, with 86% of our employee base working in Retail Sales and Distribution roles.

It is once again pleasing to note that across our Group functions, more typically known as ‘Head Office’, we have over 59% female representation, and a 47/53 % split between female and male roles in the most senior positions.

For the reasons highlighted above, when our employees are ranked in order of total pay and segmented into four groups of an equal number, our male to female ratios are biased towards males.

Male 2018 Female 2018 Male 2019 Female 2019 Male 2020 Female 2020 Male 2021 Female 2021
Upper Quartile 76% 24% 72% 28% 80% 20% 83% 17%
Upper Middle Quartile 72% 28% 62% 38% 80% 20% 80% 20%
Lower Middle Quartile 72% 28% 77% 23% 58% 42% 49% 51%
Lower Quartile 64% 36% 81% 19% 67% 33% 71% 29%
Overall 71% 29% 73% 27% 71% 29% 71% 29%

The Gender Pay Gap

It is important to know that the Gender Pay Gap is not the same as Equal Pay.

As mentioned above, we are absolutely unequivocal in both welcoming diversity of gender into every area and level of our business and ensuring that male and female employees always receive equal pay for equal roles.

In terms of Gender Pay Gap statistics, the mean pay is the average total pay, expressed as an hourly rate, and the median pay is the pay of the middle person if employees are ranked in order of total pay.

Explaining the Median and Mean pay

Given a higher proportion of males in the top quartiles than in the lower quartiles, the average total pay for males naturally follows this, with the mean company pay 12.5% lower for females than males. Due to a high proportion of male retail roles at the mid-point range, the total pay of the middle or median female is 22% lower than the male median.

Bonus and Commission Pay

Of our 1,105 employees, all of them have the opportunity to receive a performance related bonus or commission, the latter relating to Sales Consultant roles. Given that bonus and commission pay is performance related, not everybody had earned a bonus at the reporting date, with 99.7% of females earning a bonus, slightly ahead of males at 99.5%.

As mentioned earlier, there is a male bias towards the Retail Sales Team, with these positions offering the opportunity to earn large performance related remuneration, though alongside lower basic salaries. As such, the mean or average bonus paid, which includes sales commissions, was 37% lower for females compared to 45% last year, with the median 51% lower, compared to 60% lower in 2020. It is also important to note that this is purely reflective of the higher proportion of males in the Retail Sales Team, partly due to weekend working hours. Potential commission and bonus earnings are always based on job roles, with equal earnings potential for males and females alike.

Moving forward

We continue to be fully committed to ensuring that we develop our people fully and ensure they reach their full potential, irrespective of their gender.

We continue to review our recruitment practices and training, and this has resulted in attracting and retaining more females within our business, as we look to offer more flexible working conditions. We also continue to offer both guidance and support to females wishing to progress their career.

We will also continue to coach and develop our people to ensure that every employee has an opportunity to be ‘the best they can be’ and reach their full potential. This will ensure we can continue to offer the highest levels of remuneration at every level in the business and in doing so continue to attract the best talent in the industry.


Nick Hipkiss

Director of HR & People Development
On Behalf of Furniture Village