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Diageo narrows gender pay gap and launches two scholarships aimed at women

Published:  26 November, 2018

Diageo has narrowed the gender pay disparity in the company overall, according to the company’s second annual gender pay gap report.

The findings showed a median pay gap across the drinks giant’s combined GB and Scotland business of 5.4%, a reduction on 2017 when the median male worker earned 8.6% more than the median female worker.

In its GB business excluding Scotland, the pay gap favoured women standing at -12.6% for the current year, compared to -9.8% in 2017.

The Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff and Guinness owner, said the shift reflected the “good progress made to date on developing, promoting and recruiting female talent into more senior roles within the company.”

However, Diageo Scotland – the company’s 24/7 manufacturing arm – saw the median pay gap widen from 16.7% in 2017 to 18% in favour of men.

The business attributed this to a reduction in the number of women opting for shift allowances for unsociable hours and the continuation of a long-term trend of manufacturing roles being filled by men and added the focus for its Scottish operations would be to “build a strong pipeline of future female leaders across both office and manufacturing roles.”

Diageo also announced two new scholarships in partnership with Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh in a bid to encourage more female students into science, technology, engineering and mathematics careers.

Under the scheme, paid internships will be awarded to two women studying a BSc in Brewing and Distilling and an MEng in Mechanical Engineering. Each will receive mentoring from senior women in Diageo’s manufacturing business and funding for the duration of their degrees.

“We aim to be the best employer for women in the UK and are actively working to ensure we have a strong pipeline of female talent, across the broad variety of roles in our business,” said Mairéad Nayager, chief human resources officer at Diageo.

“While there is more work to do, we are proud that our work on inclusion and diversity is making Diageo a stronger company and I am pleased with the progress we have made this year towards closing the gender pay gap across our combined businesses in Great Britain and Scotland.”

Diageo was ranked 1st in the UK in Equileap’s Gender Equality Ranking 2018.

Following the retirement of two non-executive directors in September 2018, three out of eight board positions are held by women.

Diageo said it intended to ‘restore gender parity in due course’.