Gender Pay Report

Gender Pay Report 2021

At McColl’s, we recognise that our success is wholly attributable to the contribution made by our colleagues, and we work hard to ensure our colleagues are rewarded fairly and consistently in line with our company values. As an employer of around 16,000 colleagues, we aim to provide an environment where individuals can build a successful career, reach their full potential, and feel supported both inside and outside of work. We strive for diverse representation and equal treatment of our colleagues at all levels of our business; fair and inclusive practices are part of McColl’s culture and values, and we recognise the benefits that diverse perspectives, backgrounds and experiences bring to our organisation.

We are confident that men and women are paid the same salary for fulfilling the same job roles within our stores. We are pleased to report a shift in the lower quartile when reporting female representation in this category. Female majority has fallen from 58.4% in 2020 to just 50.9% in 2021, indicating that our initiatives to help women progress to senior roles within the organisation are achieving our desired outcomes in these areas.

Women make up 56.3% of our workforce and represent 37.2% of our Management Teams; and new diversity and inclusion data gathered this year has enabled us to establish this percentage, benchmark it and aim to improve on this figure for future years. As a majority female employer, we support women throughout our organisation and will continue to evolve our policies and processes, expand our training and promote women into leadership roles. We have developed dedicated programmes such as ‘Women at McColl’s’ focussing on female talent within the business wishing to progress to management roles to address the imbalance in females currently holding management positions within the organisation.

We have established an internal network for Diversity and Inclusion, embedding inclusive leadership, mentorship and development throughout the organisation.

We are making strides to create meaningful change for our colleagues when it comes to removing barriers to employment by offering hybrid and agile working arrangements, job shares and flexible working practices to make our more senior, office-based roles more easily accessible to females, applicants with disabilities or caring responsibilities. We are confident that the measures we have introduced will further reduce the gender pay gap and increase the representation of female talent in more senior positions throughout the business.

Our gender pay gap results (data as at 5th April 2021) 

The following charts demonstrate our areas of positive change and progress against last year:

Mean pay gap

Our mean pay gap in 2021 was 4.7%, representing a decrease of 2.8% on the previous year. 

Median pay gap

The UK average median gender pay gap is 14.9% (ONS, 2021) (15.5%, 2020, 17.3%, 2019). Industry-wide, in the UK the average median gender pay gap for the retail sector for 2021 was 5% in favour of males (ONS, 2021).

Our median pay gap for 2021 was 0%, reflecting a 1.8% decrease on the previous year. We are pleased that McColl’s median pay gap remains well below not only the UK national average, but the average for our industry sector, furthermore, is improving year on year.


We continue to work towards equalising the proportion of males and females at both the upper and lower quartiles of the organisation. A modest increase (0.8%) in female representation in the upper quartile has been reflected in 2021.

The lower quartile has seen an increase in the percentage of male colleagues in 2021 of 7.5%, this is, in part, attributable to the unprecedented success of our ‘Kickstart’ programme.

Bonus gender pay gap 

The data reported includes all bonus payments made during the 12 months preceding 5th April 2021.

All bonus payments are gender-neutral and small in monetary value. As expected, we have seen further decreases in the bonus gender pay gap this year. Our mean bonus gender pay gap for 2021 is (-1.7%), whereas in 2020 it was 45.4%. This can be explained by the fact that 47.4% of our female colleagues were entitled to bonus in 2020, compared to 36.1% of male colleagues. In 2021 however, 2.1% of our female colleagues were entitled to bonus pay, and 3.7% of our male colleagues were entitled to receive bonus pay.

Owing to challenging trading circumstances across the retail sector as a whole, our ability to award bonus has been limited in 2021.

Mean bonus gap

Median bonus pay gap

Our median bonus gender pay gap for this year is 0%, reflective of an 18.7% reduction in the 2020 figure.

Addressing the gender pay gap

Whilst our results this year are extremely positive, we understand that our continual efforts are required, and there is still more work to do.

We will continue to support diverse and inclusive progression of talent throughout McColl’s by:

We recognise that to achieve true pay equity we need to have an holistic approach to inclusion centred around intersectionality. As such our Diversity and Inclusion strategy includes initiatives related to women and gender minorities from different ethnicities, abilities, LGBT+ status and generations.

We will focus on further improving our recruitment and performance assessment policies to create equitable processes across every region, function, and work level across the business.

I can confirm that our data has been calculated according to the requirement of the Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017.

Karen Bird
Chief Operating Officer
March 2022

Gender Pay Gap Report 2021