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Hospitality gender pay gap in London narrows

Published:  03 April, 2019

The gender pay gap in London’s top hospitality establishments narrowed to 5.9% (£1,784) in 2018 compared to 9.7% (£2,712) in 2017, according to new data.

In London, salaries for female chefs and kitchen employees working back of house increased by an average of 24.4% in 2018 (£6,136) compared to 2017, according to the research by The Change Group, which is based on analysis of salaries paid to candidates registering with the luxury recruitment business in the past two years.

At the same time, back of house salaries for male employees increased by 13.3% (£3,859) helping to reduce the pay gap.

Front of house salaries for female waiting staff and managers rose 3.4% (£983), with the average front of house salaries for male workers declining 7.1% (£2,343).

The less than 6% gender pay gap across London’s luxury dining establishments indicated by the research is below the national average for the sector, said Jim O’Brien, director for The Change Group, adding women represented a “huge talent opportunity” for the hospitality sector.

“We are seeing more and more companies tailor-make job opportunities to appeal to and attract further women, especially to work as chefs. The data demonstrates the successful efforts that top hospitality employers are making to smash the glass ceiling for female employees.”

The number of women applying to work in London’s top kitchens grew 16.7%, while the number of male applicants declined 14.4%. However, men still dominate London’s luxury hospitality establishments, representing more than four out of every five employees (82.4%) working back of house, said The Change Group.

In 2018, more than half (53.3%) of all applicants looking to work front of house were women, and the number of women candidates rose by almost half (45.4%), while the number of male employees seeking work declined by 12.6%.

This is the second year that companies have been required to publish information on gender pay differences, with all UK organisations employing more than 250 employees to report their gender pay gap data on the government website on an annual basis by 4 April.

More than 300 hospitality businesses, including many of the UK’s top luxury restaurants and hotels, have already reported their gender pay gap data.

Based on the information reported to 1 April, the average UK gender pay gap for the hospitality industry as a whole is 6.5%, down from 8.5% in 2018.