WPP publishes UK Gender Pay Gap Report for 2022

WPP has published its UK gender pay gap report for 2022.

In addition to statutory reporting, WPP publishes the consolidated data for all eligible WPP companies in the UK. This shows a consolidated median pay gap of 17.2% (15.6% in 2021) and a mean pay gap of 23.2% (22.2% in 2021).

Our overall gender pay gap reflects the under-representation of women at the most senior levels in our UK companies. This is consistent with the wider industry picture, with the 2022 Institute of Practitioners in Advertising Agency Census reporting that only 37.5% of C-suite roles in the UK are held by women.

One of the factors behind the increase from 2021 to 2022 is greater hiring of women at the entry levels in our industry. While some of our agencies improved their gender pay gap, this contributed to the overall figure widening slightly. Any like-for-like comparison between 2021 and 2022 is complicated by the fact that a different set of WPP agencies met the reporting criteria (ie. they had more than 250 employees) for each year. Our intention for 2023 is to provide consolidated data across all our businesses to give a more representative picture of our UK workforce.

Across WPP we continue to focus on driving greater gender balance throughout the company and, in particular, at the most senior levels. The proportion of women on the WPP Executive Committee grew from 35% to 40% in 2022, and in the UK FTSE Women Leaders Review we moved up from ninth to sixth in the FTSE 100. In 2022 46% of Executive Committee members and their direct reports were women, against a FTSE 100 average of 34%. Globally, WPP 54% of our senior managers and 40% of executive leaders are women.

Over the last year, we have implemented a number of initiatives to improve gender diversity across the business:

  • We appointed a new Chief Talent and Inclusion Officer, LJ Louis, to oversee global DE&I initiatives and to act as strategic advisor to WPP’s leadership team;
  • We have continued to invest in female leadership programmes such as Walk the Talk, Fast Forward and Maestro, as well as Elevate, a year-long sponsorship programme for high-potential Black women, and have expanded our community for women, WPP Stella;
  • We launched the second cohort of Visible Start, an initiative to help women aged over 45 begin a career in advertising or re-join the industry; and
  • We signed the Menopause Workplace Pledge, committing actively to support our employees affected by the menopause, and have introduced new fertility and caregiving policies across WPP in the UK.

Jennifer Remling, Chief People Officer at WPP, said: “We are committed to driving gender equity across WPP, and this means continuing to invest in and prioritise the development of women at all levels. It’s our responsibility to ensure that we give all our women the support and skills they need and identify opportunities for progression so that we can unlock their full potential at WPP.”

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