Cillit Bang and Dettol owner Reckitt Benckiser has revealed its female staff are paid 4.5% more than men, but admitted “much more” needs to be done to increase women in management roles.
In its report ahead of the UK gender pay gap reporting deadline on Thursday, Reckitt said the median figure, the midpoint in the ranges of women and men’s pay, had improved from 0.1% in favour of men in 2017.
But calculated using the mean average, the group said men are paid 7.9% more than women as it said the data was skewed by some highly paid male “outliers”.
The group, which has been headed by outgoing boss Rakesh Kapoor since 2011, added that women hold 25% of senior management roles worldwide, leading to a 25.3% gap in bonus payments in favour of male staff.
In the UK, the figures are more encouraging, with 36% of senior management roles held by women, up from 28% in 2017.
Overall, the firm has 3,656 active staff in the UK, of which 41% are women.
Reckitt announced a target to increase the proportion of senior management jobs held globally by women to 40% by 2022 in an effort to address the imbalance.
It also plans to roll out gender pay gap reporting to its top five markets around the world, representing nearly 50% of its global workforce based in the US, the UK, China, India and Mexico.
Mr Kapoor said: “While I am proud that our median pay gap is positive and that pay levels between men and women are at parity, I recognise that we should do more to increase the numbers of senior female leaders in our business not just in the UK, but globally.
“In a meritocratic organisation like RB, targets run contrary to our culture, but now I believe it is the right thing to do to ensure the business doubles the number of women in senior positions by 2022.”
The group is hoping to learn from the success at its research and development centre in Hull, where the senior management team is 44% female.
It comes in the second year of mandatory gender pay gap reporting, although many firms have been dragging their feet in reporting figures ahead of the April 4 deadline.
Under the rules, all UK companies with employing 250 or more people are required to report the gender pay and bonus gaps across their business.
Reckitt’s boss Mr Kapoor, who is set to retire at the end of 2019 after 32 years with the group, is one of the highest paid bosses in the FTSE 100.
He has been paid a total of £86 million since taking the helm in 2011, a figure that is expected to top £100 million before he steps down.
He was paid £12.5 million in 2017, which was reduced from a potential £23.7 million after a hefty share price fall and to appease shareholder concerns over executive pay.