Trinity Mirror's 18 per cent gender pay gap shows it must reach out to its women staff
5 March 2018
Trinity Mirror has announced it is to change its name to Reach, following its acquisition of Express Newspapers.
The company also published gender gap data which revealed an overall 18 per cent difference between the mean hourly pay of men and women and a more than an 11 per cent gap between those bonuses paid to men and their female colleagues at MGN Ltd.
The name change will need to be ratified at the company's agm. The announcements were made as part of the newspaper group's annual report which gave details of Simon Fox, the chief executive officer's, 19 per cent pay rise last year, despite the company reporting a £90m (12.6 per cent cent) fall in group revenue to £632m in 2017.
Pre-tax profits were down from £133.2m in 2016 to £122.5m.
Trinity Mirror is the UK's biggest newspaper group, since its takeover of the Local World Group in 2014 and the expansion of its portfolio with the Daily and Sunday Express and Daily and Sunday Star and OK! magazine. Chris Morley, Trinity Mirror NUJ coordinator, said:
“It is deeply ironic that on the day that Trinity Mirror declared a near 20 per cent income boost for its male chief executive, it also published gender pay gap information showing women in the company are paid on average 18 per cent less than their male colleagues.
"The annual report shows that while boardroom pay is not back at the obscene levels of former boss Sly Bailey, many journalists will not be impressed with the £144,000 annual increase in the pay package of Simon Fox. This is not least because the corporate strategy of moving to a digital world has not yet worked – with none of the digital bonus targets that would trigger an even bigger pay boost for directors, being met.
"With Local World employees in particular feeling like second class employees, owing to shockingly low pay and worse terms than other colleagues in the group, this largesse at the top will not be appreciated.
“It is good that the company has chosen to publish its gender pay gap figures on a group-wide basis with its annual report so we can see the scale of the task needed to achieve fairness. An overall 18 per cent difference between the mean hourly pay of men and women is a huge gap to bridge. But bringing the issue out into the open and engaging fully with the trade unions to create fully transparent pay structures is the surest way to put it right.
"While the overall gap on average bonus payments was relatively small at 3.4 per cent, it hid significant differences within the different Trinity Mirror businesses, such as a more than an 11 per cent gap between those bonuses paid to men and their female colleagues at MGN Ltd. Clearly, the top paid jobs are weighted considerably towards men.
”And as for the proposed new name for the group, I think our members will be happiest when the company can Reach equality in their ranks and women are not demeaned by lower pay rather than a cosmetic name change.”
Trinity Mirror's statement said, together with a set of graphics which appear to confuse than enlighten, said: "We have adopted the Living Wage Foundation Rates for employees over the last four years and we are committed to addressing diversity. We have launched a Women in Trinity Mirror Group Forum which is exploring ways of increasing female participation in our organisation at all levels and have reviewed our talent acquisition processes to ensure more focus on achieving better balanced candidate pools. We have also set a target for senior positions of having no all-male shortlists."
Of Trinity Mirror's present eight-person board, two are women.