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The Wates Group has published its first Fair Pay report, which shows an improvement in its gender pay gap.

The Group – the UK’s leading family-owned construction, residential development, and property services company – reported an improvement in both its mean and median gender pay gaps in 2021, with 24.9% (mean) and 30.5% (median) compared to 30.3% and 32.9% in 2020.

David Allen, CEO of Wates Group, said:

Diversity and inclusion are at the heart of our business strategy. We believe that the best places to work are those that promote an inclusive culture, and we recognise that a diverse workforce is good for business as well as for the communities we work in.

Although we have made some progress, we acknowledge that we have much further to go on our journey to improve diversity and inclusion both at Wates and within the construction industry. Our gender pay gap is driven by a higher proportion of men occupying senior and higher graded roles, and that’s why we are committed to bringing more women into the industry as well as increasing representation at senior levels.

Last month we launched a programme to provide opportunities for 125 women across all levels by 2025, over and above our existing recruitment schemes, and we have recently secured a sustainability-linked loan, which will hold us to account in improving the number of women in senior leadership positions.”

For the first time alongside its gender pay gap report, the company has also published a voluntary ethnicity pay gap, ahead of any legal requirement, combining both into Wates’ first Fair Pay Report so that it can be transparent about its progress towards becoming more diverse and representative of the communities in which it works.

David Allen added:

We have identified challenges in gathering accurate ethnicity data, and our hope is that as we progress in creating an inclusive and fair culture, more of our colleagues will be encouraged to share ethnicity information, which will then increase our confidence in the results. This, in turn, will allow us to take more meaningful action to reduce the pay gap further.”

For its first ethnicity report, the Group has deployed the same principles as Gender Pay Gap reporting. This means the data snapshot is as of 5 April 2021 and the ethnic balance at Wates was:

  • White 87.9%
  • Ethnic minority 12. 1%

The pay gap was 25.4% (mean) and the median pay gap was 29.7%. This was based on a sample size of 3403 colleagues, of whom 411 had identified themselves as Black, Asian, Multi Heritage or any other ethnic minority.

While the gender pay gap report examines the performance of Wates’ three legal entities (SES Engineering Services Ltd, Wates Group Services Ltd, and Wates Property Services Ltd), as of 5 April 2021, the ethnicity pay gap report covers the overall Wates Group.

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