The 4,818-strong workforce at Rowlands is 80% female, the multiple said in its gender pay gap report published on Tuesday (April 3).
Its mean pay gap – based on the average hourly salary of staff – was 17% as of April 2017, and the mean gap between the amount of bonus given was 49% in favour of males, it said.
However, Rowlands reported that women’s median hourly rate – which takes the mid-point when all hourly rates are lined up from biggest to smallest, reducing the impact of one-off outliers – was 3% higher than men’s and the median bonus gap was 47% in favour of women.
“We have significantly more females in our directorate and senior management roles than males, meaning that our highest earners are females,” the multiple said.
All companies employing over 250 staff were required by law to publish their gender pay gap, gender bonus gap, proportion of men and women receiving bonuses, and proportion of men and women in each pay band in the organisation by midnight last night (April 4).
In its report, Rowlands said it operates “set rates of pay” for customer-facing roles including pharmacy technicians, dispensing assistants, healthcare assistants and drivers.
It suggested the “lower-paid roles” within its pharmacies “appear to be particularly appealing to females at present, which may be in part due to the flexibility in work patterns and support that such flexibility gives to help manage family life”.
In comparison, the mean average male Day Lewis employee earns 22% more than the average female employee, the pharmacy chain revealed in its own gender pay gap report.
Its median gender pay gap as of April 2017 was 5%, it added.
Women make up more than 70% of its 2,500-strong workforce, Day Lewis noted.
Like Rowlands, Day Lewis also reported a “higher representation of females in pharmacy roles, such as pharmacy technicians, dispensers and counter assistants”.
“We employ around 330 pharmacists, with an equal number of men and women,” Day Lewis executive director Rupa Patel said in the report.
Superdrug – part of the A.S Watson Group – published joint gender pay gap data with UK discount chain Savers, which is also owned by the group.
The mean gender pay gap for the 17,000 employees across the two businesses was 26%, it revealed, while the median gap was 16%.
“While we have more women than men working in stores, we also have clear pay bandings based on size of the store and location,” A.S Watson said in its report.
The mean pay gap at Cohens Chemist – which operates more than 200 pharmacies across England and Wales – was 16% as of April 2017, it revealed in its gender pay gap report published last week (March 26).
Its median hourly pay rate was 7.5% in favour of females, it added.
“The Cohens Group has a female workforce circa 2.5 times that of men,” the pharmacy chain noted, “but a 50:50 male-to-female representation of pharmacists and managers in our branch network.”
Cohens’ gender pay gap was the narrowest of the UK’s large pharmacy chains – discounting supermarkets, but including Boots, Lloydspharmacy, Well, Rowlands, Superdrug, Day Lewis, and Paydens (see more here).
The mean gender pay gap at Paydens – which operates more than 100 pharmacies across the south of England – was 20%, while the median was 4%.
The workforce “is made up of significantly more female than male staff”, Paydens said in its gender pay gap report.
“This is especially so of the lower three [pay bands] in which the majority of roles are those of pharmacy counter and dispensary assistants – roles currently predominantly undertaken by women,” it added.
“We are confident that men and women are paid equally for doing equivalent jobs across our organisation and that the pay gap is related to people carrying out different roles.”
Equal pay for equal work
In their respective reports, both Superdrug and Rowlands stressed the difference between the gender pay gap – a measure of the difference between men’s and women’s average earnings, regardless of role or seniority – and equal pay, a legal requirement that men and women in the same employment, performing equal work, must receive the same wages.
Day Lewis’s Ms Patel said: “As a female executive director at Day Lewis, I am proud to champion equality and diversity with our business. We remain committed to identifying talent and developing all our colleagues both male and female.”
Large pharmacy chains' gender pay gap figures
See an enlarged version of how the gender pay gap figures compare at each of the eight largest pharmacy chains here.