Ethics & ethos

Riverford’s gender pay gap report - 2020

Riverford aims to be an outstanding place to work, and this must include equal pay

The results

This is the fourth year of national reporting on gender pay gap differences. In April 2020 the average gender pay gap for Riverford as a whole stood at 13.6%. For context, the national average pay gap is 15.5%, but 13.6% represents a disappointing increase of 2.2% over April 2019 at Riverford. Below we analyse the reasons for the gap and show where we still have work to do close the pay gap as part of fulfilling our ambition to make Riverford an outstanding place to work for all. In particular we need to see female co-owners progress into more leadership roles and create a culture where female co-owners feel they can truly succeed in all roles at Riverford.

Why is there a gap?

We are confident that our male and female co-owners are paid equally for doing the same jobs at Riverford. The issues we have to address are more subtle and arise mainly from a significant variation in the number of male and female co-owners in different roles and at different levels, which creates a pay gap and needs addressing. This is not a situation faced by Riverford alone, but that is no excuse for not exploring and addressing the issues. So far, we know that we have a pay gap because:

  1. We have more men than women in senior roles:
    • in April 2020, at the time these data were collected, we had 246 female co-owners and 405 male co-owners with a gender split of 34.6% female and 65.4% male.
    • The proportion of women in the upper two quartiles by pay is out of line with the overall gender split: in the top quartile 69% are male, and the upper mid quartile 73%. Conversely the split in the lowest quartile is 50/50
  2. Whilst we continue to attract more women to Riverford overall, we have been less successful than we hoped in attracting women to senior roles
  3. We continue to promote part time working and encourage the use of flexible working with the introduction of a new flexi time policy. We know that these part-time opportunities have been mainly taken up by women, so we have more women working in part time roles than male co-owners

  4. The other significant factor in Riverford’s pay gap is the effect of what are categorised as ‘bonuses’. The calculations take into account two different types of ‘bonus’ which our co-owners may receive: the annual co-owner profit share paid to all co-owners and a sales commission scheme relevant only to our customer sales teams. In the year covered by this report 34.6% of those receiving bonus payments were female compared to 65.4% of male co-owners. Female co-owners bonus pay is 28.2% lower to the mean. These numbers derive from:
    • In the year which this report covers all co-owners were eligible for a 10% share of our profit, the amount paid therefore being an equal share irrespective of role within Riverford. For those working part time the profit share is paid pro rata and the pay gap is therefore impacted by the higher proportion of women in part-time roles.
    • The only co-owners receiving commission are those in our sales teams – we do not operate performance related pay or bonuses for any other roles. In April 2020 we had 2/3rd males and 1/3rd females in the sales roles carrying commission. This, with exceptionally high sales commission figures achieved by some individual male co-owners, has led to a difference in bonus figures and contributed to the gender pay gap.

How the gender pay gap is calculated

The gender pay gap is calculated as the difference between the average hourly earnings of men and women. This is shown as a mean and median and the data is from a snapshot taken on 1st April 2020.

Mean and Median explained

Mean - the average

Median – the middle number in a set of data

  • Women’s hourly rate is 13.6% lower than the mean for all staff
  • Women’s hourly rate is 6.56% lower than the median for all staff

How many men and women are in each pay quartile?

  • Upper - Male: 69% Female: 31%
  • Upper middle - Male: 73% Female: 27%
  • Lower middle - Male: 57% Female: 43%
  • Lower - Male: 50% Female: 50%

What actions are we undertaking to close the gender pay gap?

We have made great progress on improving our culture and values to make Riverford a better place to work generally, a more inclusive workplace overall and a more attractive workplace to women in particular. The improvement was confirmed in our recent co-owner survey results, showing a general consensus that the cultural changes we have made make Riverford a better place to work.

This year we will do more to build on what we have started, to continue to embed behaviours that make us an inclusive place to work where our co-owners feel a real sense of belonging and opportunity. Some specifics:

  • Leadership Development Programme - We continue to invest heavily to develop our leaders and managers at all levels to ensure that everyone feels well managed, supported, and led. We are in the third year of our cultural programme and this work has been extended to the middle level leaders, who are crucial to embedding the change through all levels and areas of the organisation.
  • Recruitment - We have introduced some new processes that aim to minimise bias (conscious and unconscious) in the selection process. We are also running training for hiring managers to ensure we shortlist a diverse pool of talent and encouraging active challenge of any limiting assumptions that may still occur. We have also this year started working with a recruitment agency which supports the recruitment of under-represented groups in senior leadership roles. We are developing plans for a deeper advert-to-selection review of the recruitment process, and we will start to collect more detailed data at each stage of the recruitment process in order to target our actions more effectively (e.g., at encouraging applications in a different way, or addressing bias in the recruitment process).
  • Diversity and Inclusion - We have established an action plan which, over the next three years, will see us as a minimum:
    • collecting feedback from co-owners via a diversity and inclusion survey, focus groups and confidential one to one conversation.
    • improving our collection and exploration of data around protected characteristics
    • introducing frequent and varied learning opportunities relating to diversity and inclusion across Riverford.
    • Reviewing policies and practices across the organisation to ensure they are more inclusive, particularly for women.

    All of this will be undertaken with an external partner who brings additional diversity and inclusion expertise and context, independence, confidentiality, and a challenging mindset. The plan started with an intensive 3-month programme challenging the senior leadership team, recognising the importance of modelling the right behaviours and actions and the necessity of developing understanding, skills, and confidence in these areas.

  • Remuneration Committee - The committee has been influential in several important areas: it challenged the existing commission schemes to ensure only those co-owners who are directly customer-facing benefit from sales commission; it set an objective to the leaders of the business is to establish Riverford as a Real Living Wage employer. It also has a role to play in ensuring we have no differences in the levels of pay between men and women doing the same jobs or roles of equal value.

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