Gender Pay Gap Reporting

At Sofology, we fully embrace the responsibility of providing a workplace that is fair, diverse and committed to treating each and every colleague equally. We are dedicated to ensuring equal pay for male and female colleagues throughout the business, as well as offering the same opportunities to train, develop and thrive in every role. We therefore welcome the opportunity to publish for the second year running our review of  our Gender Pay Gap and our action plan to improve.

Understanding The Gender Pay Gap

The Gender Pay Gap is a method to identify if there are any gaps in pay between men and women by using a set of calculations prescribed by legislation. These figures give an overview of the gender balance within our business by comparing the average earnings for both men and women, regardless of role or seniority at Sofology. This information will help to identify any room for improvement within the organisation in terms of gender equality and equal opportunities being afforded to both men and women. Gender Pay Gap reporting will enable Sofology to fully review and act upon any act upon any gender pay differences across the organisation.

At Sofology we have a number of roles for which have standard rates of pay, for example; Sales Consultants, Sales Administrators, Customer Services, Van Drivers, Co-Drivers, Warehouse Colleagues and Upholsterers. Men and women are paid equally for these roles and the only difference in earnings would be down to performance, productivity, location, or  length of service.

Monitoring our Gender Pay data, and more importantly understanding the factors that contribute to the  differences will help to begin narrowing our Gender Pay Gap and will inform our longer term strategy to help Sofology become recognised as an environment where women are equal, supported and driven to succeed.

Our Results - What is the Gender Pay Gap at Sofology?

Our Gender Pay Gap figures are based on a relevant workforce of 1146 colleagues with a wide variety of skills primarily across Retail, Operations and Head Office business areas. Our overall colleague ratio is a 67% male / 33% female.        

Our analysis shows that our 11% mean and 11% median gender pay gap is a result of the following factors:

Previously in 2016/2017 the median Gender Pay Gap was 11% due to more males in Senior positions throughout all business areas. There were four company directors at Sofology all of whom were male. This will significantly move forwards in 2018 / 2019 with the introduction of a female CEO and three of our Senior Leadership Team are now female. We know there is more to do when it comes to Leadership roles in our business and we are dedicated to achieving a higher % female representation in Senior Leadership roles including Heads of Departments.

The remuneration within our IT department is the highest within our Head Office. Technical IT roles are highly paid and attract a higher % of male applicants. Sofology is dedicated to recruiting female talent into traditionally male dominated roles within the business to improve the male versus female ratio of colleagues across the whole organisation.

Within our Head Office the largest department by headcount is Customer Service. Customer Service roles are lower paid and the department has a 69.1% predominantly female workforce. This has reduced from 81% in 2016/2017. Two salary increases have also taken place in 2018 increasing Customer Service colleagues from £16,000 to £17,510 per annum. The Direct Sales Department also has a predominantly female colleague base, due to its flexible working patterns. This department will see growth in headcount across 2018 / 2019 which will continue to support the attraction and retention of female colleagues in the business.

Within Retail, the highest volume roles are Sales Consultants, of which there is a 67:33 split between male and female. These roles have a much greater earning potential. Within 2019 we will see an introduction to part time Retail Sales Consultants which will also support in the attraction of more females within Retail.

Our bonus pay gap of -23% (mean) and -100% (median)

Our analysis shows that our -32% mean and -95% median bonus pay gap is a result of women who earn a bonus within the business tend to earn a higher bonus than their male counterparts.

Our Commitments

Giving everyone access to new career opportunities at Sofology is an integral platform to encourage female internal progression. We have an internal vacancy process, allowing any Sofologist looking for that next step, the opportunity to be alerted when a suitable vacancy becomes available.  

In 2017, we introduced the Next Generation programme which allowed our Sofolgists the opportunity to apply for in-house development and support to reach the next steps in their career path which was encouraged to be undertaken by both male and female colleagues.

In 2018 we placed further emphasis on our Talent Forums and use these to build diverse selection pools for Senior roles.

In addition we also included a one day recruitment development workshops for hiring Managers with a dedicated section on unconscious bias training.

In 2019 we introduced a revised Career Tracker process based on feedback from our Colleague Engagement Survey, that our Sofologists wanted higher quality conversations around their progression in the organisation.

As Sofology continues to open new stores across the UK there will be continued opportunities for all to progress their careers and benefit from the continued success of the business.

Our values are the fabric of our business, and we’ll use them to create our approach to diversity and inclusion and guide our strategy. We will carry out  further work to fully understand how we can address imbalances. Our commitments will ensure our business is not only stronger, but also truly represents our customers and the communities in which we work.