Stonemanor Ltd operates under the trading name of Apricot across the UK, Europe and America. We are a multi-channel womenswear fashion brand with staff employed across three main divisions; customer facing and product focussed roles in our retail stores and concessions, logistical and manual roles in our warehouse and a range of skilled and professional roles in our head office.
As a womenswear retailer, a large part of our business attracts a predominately female candidate base when roles are advertised, while some other roles in the business traditionally attract a predominately male candidate base. Recent recruitment activity will demonstrate this:
A recent hiring process for Head of Warehouse attracted a 100% male applicant base
A recent hiring process for Designer attracted a 100% female applicant base
A recent hiring process for Graphic Designer attracted a male applicant base of more than 50%
Of all applicants for our last 2 job adverts for Sales Advisors that were posted on Indeed.com, 9.1% were male and 90.9% were female. This is a fair representation of the trend for all Sales Advisor job adverts that we post.
Our vacancies are primarily advertised on Indeed.com and are generically worded to capture as many candidates as possible. We also use a small number of agencies who all demonstrate a commitment to building diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
Our overall workforce in the UK is predominately female, with only 8.3% of all staff being male and these are deployed primarily in retail management, warehouse management and head office roles. The nature of our business as a womenswear retailer means that females will have a natural affiliation with our product, attracting them more to store roles, and these are the roles that attract a lower rate of pay. Of our total population of 130 relevant employees holding the job title of Sales Advisor or Warehouse Assistant, just 8.5% were male.
We therefore believe that our recruitment processes are not gender biased in any way and it is the nature of our business that has the biggest influence on our gender pay gap.
The fact that a majority of staff were on furlough during the relevant pay period, and therefore excluded for the purpose of calculating our gender pay gap, has somewhat distorted results for 2020. A small number of staff in head office roles remained at work during the pandemic, in order to keep the basic operations of the business functioning and a small number of lower paid roles continued to be paid at 100% of their contractual salary, due to the way in which furlough was calculated. Of the 78 staff who were considered as “Full Pay Relevant Employees” for the purpose of calculating gender pay gap, only 7 were male and these male employees held job posts that were considered essential to the ongoing operation of the business during lockdown. This means that a number of higher paid females who were furloughed at the time could not be included in our gender pay gap calculations for 2020 (at this point in time, 18 of the top 20 earners in the Company were female).
While our gender pay gap results for 2020 may appear to indicate a bias towards males, a review of the Quadrants further demonstrates that our predominately female workforce, with a small number of male employees concentrated in the Upper Middle and Upper Quartiles has a disproportionate effect on our gender pay gap. The Lower and Lower Middle Quadrants may be made up 100% by female “Relevant Full Pay Employees”, however, the Upper and Middle Quadrants are also dominated by females “Relevant Full Pay Employees” and had those on furlough been working this would have been even more apparent.
COMMITMENT TO ACTION
As previously stated, the nature of our business means that our lower paid roles in our retail stores will attract more female applicants than male, we will however continue to ensure that our job adverts are not gender biased.
When hiring for more senior roles that attract a higher rate of pay will continue to use recruitment agencies that have a commitment to diversity & inclusion, and who are able to provide us with a broad range of diverse candidates.
We will review hiring processes across the business to ensure that we continue to recruit the right person for the job, who has the appropriate skills and experience, regardless of their gender.