The Peter Vardy Group of companies is committed to driving equality for men and women in the workplace, particularly on pay. We are confident that the men and women in our business who do the same job are paid equally.
As a Group we are working hard to introduce women into the industry in a bid to bridge the pay gap and, to date, we have made significant progress. Currently the average representation of females in the workforce in the automotive industry is only 20%. We are pleased to be well ahead of that average with 30% of our own workforce being female however we would still like to improve upon that number.
In our business, half the members of our statutory board are women, including a female Chief Financial Officer who also represents the executive board. This is significantly more advanced than the aspirations of the 30 Per Cent Club, an initiative for FTSE 100 companies, which encourages businesses to have at least 30 per cent female representation on their Boards.
There are a number of senior female leaders within our Group, including our Group CFO, Head of Operational Development, Head of Marketing, Head of Aftersales, Head of Contact Centre, Head of CRM & Data and Head of Operational Finance, as well as a number of female Financial Controllers throughout our dealership businesses. We also have several female line managers at dealership and head office levels holding such positions as Sales Controller, Customer Manager, Payroll Manager, Facilities Manager and Host Manager.
It is one of our Board key priorities to recruit female Sales Advisors and Technicians (our largest group of roles), we are actively developing specific campaigns to attract female talent to roles previously dominated by male colleagues.
Our Group has advanced plans to build robust relationships with schools and universities by providing an early introduction to the roles available in the industry and to dispel the myth that the automotive sector is an excessively male environment.
A major issue for our industry is that a disproportionate number of females are attracted into administration, hosting and customer service roles, which tend to be lower paid. As a Group, and as an industry, we need to continue to increase the number of females in senior management positions in dealership businesses, including in the roles of sales managers and service managers, as well as in sales advisor and technician posts.
Whilst our initial gender pay gap results may show on average men earning £15.54 per hour and female colleagues earning £13.36, this is a direct result of only 30 per cent of our workforce being women and a higher proportion of female colleagues being attracted into lower paid roles such as hosts, vehicle administrator and handover. As a traditionally male-dominated industry, the automotive sector currently employs more men than women at board and senior manager levels and this has created a disparity in pay.