The results

This is the third year of national reporting on the gender pay differences and Riverford’s results remain very similar to last year: we are significantly better than the national average (with women’s pay 10.3% lower than the mean for all staff vs a national average of 16.2%. We have, disappointingly, seen this gap increase very slightly over last year and have work still to do in our aspiration to make Riverford an outstanding place to work. We detail below how we are working to improve this.

Why is there a gender pay gap?

We are confident that our male and female co-owners are paid equally for doing the same jobs here at Riverford, but differences in the balance of men and women in different roles create a gap and need addressing:

  • First we have more men than women in senior roles (as well as having more men in the workplace as a whole: in April 2019, at the time of this data was collected, we had 241 female co-owners and 422 male co-owners). We have been successful overall in recruiting more women to Riverford but less successful than we hoped in more senior roles
  • Second, we have increased the flexible hours and part time working in the business, and these part-time opportunities have been mainly taken up by women, so we have more women working in part time roles
  • Third, the result is affected by how the government methodology treats bonus payments. The calculation includes two different types of ‘bonus’: our annual co-owner profit share to all co-owners and the commission scheme for our customer sales teams:
    • All co-owners are eligible for a 10% share of our profits and the amount paid is an equal share irrespective of role within Riverford. For those working part time the bonus is paid pro rata and the 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. There are more males than females in the sales team, and some exceptional high sales commission have been achieved
    • 35.7% of those receiving bonus payments were female compared to 64.3% of male co-owners
    • Female co-owners bonus pay is 0.0% to the median
    • Female co-owners bonus pay is 20.3% lower to the mean

We detail below the actions we are taking to even things up, and the technicalities of how the pay gap is calculated

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 2019.

Mean and Median explained

Mean - the average

Median – the middle number in a set of data

  • Women’s hourly rate is 10.3% lower than the mean for all staff
  • Women’s hourly rate is 11.6% lower than the median for all staff

How many men and women are in each pay quartile?

  • Upper - Male: 71% Female: 29%
  • Upper middle - Male: 67% Female: 33%
  • Lower middle - Male: 72% Female: 28%
  • Lower - Male: 49% Female: 51%

What are we doing to close the gender pay gap further?

We have made great progress on improving our culture and values to make Riverford a better place to work generally and more attractive 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 have made Riverford a better place to work for women.

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

  • Leadership Development Programme - We continue to invest heavily to develop our leaders and managers at all levels to ensure we are a great place to work where 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 imbed the changes we have seen, through all levels and areas of the organisation.
  • Recruitment - We have reviewed and introduced new processes to minimise some of the unconscious bias in the selection process. We are also running training for hiring managers to ensure we shortlist a diverse pool of talent and actively challenge any unconscious bias that may still occur. We have also this year started working with a recruitment agency which supports the recruitment of underrepresented groups in senior leadership roles.
  • Diversity and Inclusion training - We are starting to run training to challenge any unconscious bias that may exist within the business. This programme will start with the senior leadership team, recognising the importance of people in these roles modelling the right behaviours and actions if we are to make sustained changes.
  • Remuneration Committee - Now well established, the committee has been instrumental in supporting significant improvements to our ‘hourly’ rates of pay. 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.