As part of its work on recruiting, training and retaining talent, Build UK has collated information on the Gender Pay Gap (GPG) of its contractor members. The report reveals a significant GPG ‐ the difference between the average earnings of men and women across a workforce ‐ with women paid on average 73p for every £1 men were paid between 2017 and 2021.

The biggest effect on the GPG is the low number of women employed in the industry, representing on average 33.3% of employees in the lowest pay quartile, compared to just 10.0% in the highest pay quartile, over the four‐year period. Closing the GPG will take time and Build UK will be using this information to drive the required behaviour change.

Helen Tapper, Business Operations Director at Tapper Interiors and President of FIS, said: “It is difficult to extrapolate from the figures, whether women are failing to make significant progress closing the GPG, because they are simply not trained to do so or because there are barriers to being promoted to the highest pay quartile. I suspect an element of both is present. In large contracting companies, with sophisticated HR processes, these issues are being addressed and progress, although slow, is being made. It is the SMEs, where staff are perhaps not as enlightened or systems are not in place to protect them, where mistakes are made. In my experience, many smaller contractors, employ women that are crucial to the whole operation and should be recognised as such.”

Companies with 250 employees or more have until 4 April to report their Gender Pay Gap for 2021/22, and the Government has produced guidance confirming what data must be submitted.