Penguin Random House reports a 9.1% gender pay gap for 2019


Publishing organisation Penguin Random House has reported a 9.1% mean gender pay gap for fixed hourly pay as at April 2019; this compares to a 9.3% mean gender pay gap the organisation reported for April 2018.

The organisation reported its gender pay gap data in line with the government’s reporting regulations and ahead of the private sector submission deadline of 4 April 2020. Its figures reflect the workforce employed at Penguin Random House, excluding Darling Kindersley (DK) staff, who operate independently and are employed by Penguin Books. The organisation has also voluntarily disclosed gender pay gap data for The Random House Group and Penguin Books, including DK staff, in addition to its statutory obligations.

The regulations require organisations with 250 or more employees to publish the differences in mean and median hourly rates of pay for male and female full-time employees, the gap in mean and median bonus pay for men and women, the proportions of male and female employees awarded bonus pay, and the proportions of male and female full-time employees in the lower, lower middle, upper middle and upper quartile pay bands.

Penguin Random House’s 2019 median gender pay gap for fixed hourly pay is 3.2%, compared to 3% in 2018.

The organisation attributes fluctuations in its mean and median gender pay gaps to the fact that, while more women are employed within its upper pay quartile compared to last year, there has also been an increase in the number of female staff in its lower pay quartile; this aligns with Penguin Random House’s recruitment trends, where 75% of entry-level new starters in 2018 were women.

Penguin Random House’s mean gender pay gap for bonuses paid in the 12 months up to April 2019 was 35.4%, compared to 35.5% in 2018. The median gender pay gap for bonus payments is 10.1%, which is a reduction from the 16.4% reported for 2018. Over the reporting period, 90.1% of male staff received a bonus payment, compared with 86.4% of female employees.

Penguin Random House attributed its overall gender pay gap to the fact that there are fewer men occupying entry-level publishing and group department roles, while more male staff are employed within the organisation’s technology division; 68% of the employees in this department are male, to 32% who are female. The technology division is one of the largest within Penguin Random House, accounting for 12% of the workforce.

The organisation also stated that its bonus gap is influenced by the fact that it has fewer men in its lower pay quartile; bonus pay is awarded as a percentage of salary, with both bonuses and pay increasing with seniority. Bonus payments within its technology department are also higher than other areas of business.

Almost three-fifths (57.6%) of employees in the highest pay quartile at Penguin Random House are women, compared to 67% in the second pay quartile, 74.9% in the third pay quartile and 52.8% in the lowest pay quartile. The workforce at Penguin Random House is comprised of 64% female staff versus 36% male employees, while the leadership team currently has a 50:50 gender split.

In order to address its pay gap, Penguin Random House has stated that it is equalising its parental leave benefit to ensure that all staff, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, can take up to a year off to care for a new child. Staff with one year or more of service will receive the first 25 weeks of this leave at full pay.

The organisation is also seeking to introduce employee networks, which will have a leadership team sponsor. It hopes to create a parents’ network and a women’s network, specifically.

Other areas that Penguin Random House plans to focus on for 2019 and 2020 include its mentoring programme, which has 87% female participants and 72% female mentors, a leadership development programme, where 78% of the entrants are women, and recruitment processes. The organisation also aims to achieve transparent pay bands by the end of 2019.

The business further plans to implement a Penguin Parents Programme. This will include financial contributions towards postnatal support, informing those on parental leave of promotion and job opportunities, parental mentoring, flexible working opportunities and employer-paid childcare.

Val Garside, director of HR at Penguin Random House, said: “Beyond analysing our gender pay gap and sharing our plans to reduce it, we are committed to our long term goal of removing any barriers to entry or progression and ensuring Penguin Random House is a place where our employees reflect UK society and everyone feels a strong sense of belonging.

“This means designing our systems, processes and culture with inclusion front of mind to create a truly level playing field, regardless of gender or any other characteristic. An example of this is the change we have announced we will be making to our approach to parental leave, meaning that shortly, men, women, non-binary or trans colleagues will all be entitled to the same paid time off when they become a parent: up to 12 months to spend with their new family member with 25 weeks’ full pay.

“[While] we recognise that the continued progression of women and changes to the gender balance of new hires will take time, we are committed to achieving meaningful change and investing in initiatives and policies that will steadily improve our gender balance going forward.”