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Well pays male employees 20% more on average than females

Well CEO: The multiple's gender pay gap continues to mirror similar pharmacy organisations
Well CEO: The multiple's gender pay gap continues to mirror similar pharmacy organisations

The average pay gap of Well Pharmacy employees remains around 20%, it has revealed in its second annual pay gap report.

Well reported its mean pay gap – the difference in pay between the average male and female UK hourly rate – as 20.49% as of April 2018 in favour of men, in its gender pay gap report published last month (March 21). The mean pay gap in April 2017 was 19.7.

The report also revealed Well’s median gender pay gap – which takes the mid-point when all hourly rates are lined up from biggest to smallest, reducing the impact of one-off outliers – as of April 2018 was 4%. This has increased from 1% in April 2017.

Women made up 75% of the 5,996 full-time employees at the multiple, in April 2018.

The majority of Well employees, around 4,000, work in non-managerial roles in branches, the multiple said. This puts them in the lowest paid group. As 75% of women in the company are in this group, the pay gap is “in line with our expectations”, Well said.

Bonus gap

Well also revealed 6% of its male employees and 6% of its female employees received a bonus in the year up to April 2018. In 2017, 11% of men and 7% of women received a bonus.

Pay gap “mirrors” similar organisations

Well chief executive John Nuttall said the multiple’s gender pay gap continues to “mirror similar pharmacy [and] retail organisations in that we have a disproportionate number of women in our lowest paid roles”.

“We will continue to explore this data further to identify any potential barriers to progression for women into our managerial roles, to allow us to take positive action to break them down,” Mr Nuttall added.

“We have a strong gender balance of men and women at our board and senior leadership levels.”

As an employer with over 250 staff, Well was required by law to publish the report by April 4.

Boots’ gender pay gap report for 2018 revealed that the average male employee also earns 20% more than the average female employee. Lloydspharmacy has not yet published its report for 2018.

What do you make of the Well's pay gap figures?

So either the people writing these articles are unable to do a simple analysis or they are deliberately trying to muddy the waters. It seems they are only interested in pushing this narrative of "women get paid less then men" without providing some proper context. Can I remind you of a simple fact? It is legally not sound to pay a women less for doing the same job as a man. All of these average salaries you're using to compare the wages of men and women are clearly not taking into account the different roles men are women are taking in pharmacy. For example, the vast majority of dispensers are women, whereas if you find a man working in a pharmacy, he is likely to be a pharmacist. A more accurate comparison would be to compare the wage of all full time women pharmacists to those of full time male pharmacists and let's see the gap then? 

Grace Lewis, Editorial

Hi NewLocum,

As of last year, companies with over 250 employees are legally required to publish annual reports on the difference in the average hourly wage of all men and women across their workforce. This is not the same as equal pay, which is the legal requirement that men and women in the same employment, performing equal work, must receive the same wages.

See here:

This article is reporting on Well Pharmacy’s latest gender pay gap report across the organistion - not how much the multiple pays male and female pharmacists.

C+D used its own Salary Survey data to compare like-for-like roles, and our analysis identified that male employee community pharmacists and branch managers earn on average £2,000 more than female pharmacists in the same role.

See here:

And see here for C+D's analysis of why there might be a gender difference in pay in community pharmacy:

Kind regards,

Grace Lewis, C+D Deputy Editor

John Cleese, Production & Technical

“We will continue to explore this data further to identify any potential barriers to progression for women into our managerial roles, to allow us to take positive action to break them down" - as long as they don't use positive *discrimination*. Equality of opportunity is essential - equality of outcome is undesirable.

Leon The Apothecary, Student

So am I reading that correctly as there has been no improvement; that the gaps have gone backwards in terms of progression?

Thomas Wilde, Community pharmacist

It's just a case of statistic analysis. When they say they have a 20% gap its across the whole company from the lowest paid to the highest and if you have predominantly women in the job roles that are paid less it will give you what looks like a dramatic gap. This is not the same as saying that men are paid 20% more in the same job role etc. This will always be the case in sectors that have more of one gender in lower roles. GP surgeries will be the same, very few men work in reception or as nurses and so if you find a man working at the surgery he's likely a GP so their pay gap would look the same as Well's. So its reasonable to say its expected to have that gap. This is why only saying the one number across the whole company isn't that useful you really need to have a further breakdown for each job role in the company. 

Leon The Apothecary, Student

Does that mean the report could be improved by showing us the difference between dispensers, managers, and pharmacists of both male and female genre?

Thomas Wilde, Community pharmacist

Yes the only way to show whether companies are discriminating on gender lines is to have a further breakdown into how much they pay each job role otherwise you're left with this situation where you can't tell if a company are discriminating but are hiding it behind the one figure or are actually paying female employees the same or more. I think Google discovered this recently when they examined their pay in more detail.

Going back to the GP surgery analogy lets say you have 4 GPs two male two female and 3 female admin staff. We'll say the admin staff are on £17,000 a year and the 2 male GP's are on £70,000 and the 2 female ones £75,000 this means the mean female pay is £40,200 but the mean male pay is £70,000 which if you only looked at that gap and not the context would imply discrimination but if you went into each job role you'd discover that the female employees in the same job role as the males are earning more. 

This is why only having the mean average can end up being very misleading without context or breakdown.

Soon-To-Be Ex-Pharmacist, Superintendent Pharmacist

This is exactly right. It's a very sensationalist headline to what is basically a non-story. Frankly I'm surprised it's only 20% because I'm pretty sure I get more that 20% over what my dispensers get.

Benie Locum, Locum pharmacist

Haha. Don't worry the gap is getting smaller and dispensers aren't getting paid more.

Leon The Apothecary, Student

Dispensers are typically paid pathetically low for the work they do.

Soon-To-Be Ex-Pharmacist, Superintendent Pharmacist

So are pharmacists.......

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