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Oil giant Shell reveals 23% UK gender pay gap

Fewer women than men work offshore, Shell says

By John-Paul Ford Rojas., Business Reporter

Oil giant Shell admitted it still had "some way to go" on gender balance in its workforce after revealing it pays its female UK employees on average 23% less than men.

The gap compares to a 9% disparity across the wider economy.

Shell published the 2017 figures following new laws that came into force earlier this year requiring each company with 250 or more employees to disclose details on its gender pay gap.

The FTSE 100 firm employs more than 5,000 people across the UK.

It said the fact that it had fewer women in senior leadership roles was one of the key reasons for the gender pay gap.

The company also said there were fewer working offshore or in other roles such as trading that attract higher levels of pay.

Shell said it was confident that men and women working for it were paid equally for doing jobs of the same value.

The company also said that men had traditionally made up the majority of the oil and gas sector workforce. At Shell in the UK, 67% of employees are male and 33% female.

It said it was making progress, with the percentage of women in senior management roles rising from 12% in 2005 to 27% this year.

At the graduate level, 47% of positions are held by women.

Shell UK chair Sinead Lynch said: "We are already working to bring gender balance to our workforce, and while we have made progress, there is still some way to go."

The figures show that, compared with the midpoint, or median, in the salary range of men at the company, the median pay for women is 23.4% lower.

That compares with the 9.1% gap in median earnings across the country reported in the latest Office for National Statistics data.

Using a different type of average – the mean, which takes in all pay across the workforce – the gap at Shell UK was 22.2%.

Earlier this week, airline easyJet revealed a 45.5% pay gap, blamed on the fact that the vast majority of its pilots are predominantly male, with average salaries nearly four times higher than cabin crew, of whom most are female.

The Bank of England said last week that it pays women employees an average of 24% less than men – a gap attributed to the lack of women in senior roles.

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