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Gender pay gaps as high as 49 per cent have been reported at UK major labels

Sony, Warner UK and Universal released their figures in response to a new UK law

  • Jasmine Kent-Smith
  • 12 April 2018
Gender pay gaps as high as 49 per cent have been reported at UK major labels

Earlier this month Sony, Warner Music UK, and Universal released their gender pay gap statistics, revealing gaps as high as 49 per cent between male and female employees.

Thanks to a new UK law companies with over 250 members of staff were called to declare their gender pay gaps by April 4, with the published figures displaying percentile differences between male and female employees' hourly earnings, bonus shares and the disparities in professional progression on each level.

As discussed on Music Business Worldwide, the average shared between the major labels sits at 33.8 per cent. Broken down between the three labels, the gender pay gap averages at a gap of 29.8 per cent at Universal, 22.7 per cent at Universal and a staggering 49 per cent at Warner.

At each of the three music giants, significantly fewer women sit in higher level executive positions, with the ratio between male and female employees working in Universal’s top-earning quartile a 70 per cent to 30 per cent split. Sony and Warner's statistics are similarly unbalanced, where figures of 63.3 per cent and 74 per cent in favour of men were reported respectively.

In Warner’s report, an introductory statement penned by Warner Music Group's European Vice President for human resources Masha Osherova states:

"Our current gender pay gap numbers make starkly clear the need for us to accelerate the pace of change within our company. For the past three years, we’ve been focused on making WMUK a more dynamic and forward-thinking organisation. While we’ve made real progress in many different areas, we’re acutely aware there’s still much more work to do, especially if we are to be as diverse and inclusive as we aspire to be and if we are to increase the number if women in leadership roles.”

The transparency garnered by the new government legislation fuels an on-going debate into the representation and inclusivity of women in music, be it employees, dancers or artists. To read more about ways to make dance music less sexist take a look here, or read our feature on combating sexism in the industry.

Jasmine Kent-Smith is Mixmag's Weekend Editor. Follow her on Twitter

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