Diageo announces STEM scholarships to tackle rising gender pay gap in Scotland

Diageo is funding two new scholarships to encourage women to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics at university, in an effort to tackle its rising gender pay gap in Scotland.

(PRNewsfoto/Johnnie Walker)

Overall, Diageo’s UK businesses have a median pay gap of +5.4% in favour of men, down from +8.6% in its 2017 pay report.

However, the pay gap for Diageo Scotland is wider now than it was last year, up to +18% in favour of men from +16.7% in 2017.

The company blamed two factors for the increase; a reduction in the number of women opting for shift allowances for unsociable hours, and the “long-term trend of manufacturing roles being filled by men.”

Excluding Scotland, the pay gap actually favoured women standing at -12.6% for the current year, compared to -9.8% in April’s report.

The spirits giant is making efforts to address the widening gap in its Scottish business, having recruited we have recruited more women than men into entry level roles this year. Half of all employees who were promoted last year were women, while two thirds of the spirits giant’s graduate intake in Scotland were also women, it said.

Overall, women make up 40% of the global Diageo Executive Committee and currently hold 34% of leadership roles. Following the retirement of two Non-Executive Directors in September 2018, three out of eight board positions are held by women. We intend to restore gender parity in due course.

The spirits giant has announced it will fund two new STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) scholarships in partnership with Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh.

Over each of the next three years, the scholarships will provide two women studying a BSc in Brewing and Distilling and an MEng in Mechanical Engineering with paid internships, mentoring from senior women in our manufacturing business and funding for the duration of their degrees.

“I am pleased with the progress we have made this year towards closing the gender pay gap across our combined businesses,” chief HR officer Mairéad Nayager said.

As part of the new regulations, employers with 250 or more employees are required to publish their mean and median wages broken down my gender, and reveal the proportion of men and women employed at each level of seniority.

“We aim to be the best employer for women in the UK and are actively working to ensure we have a strong pipeline of female talent, across the broad variety of roles in our business. While there is more work to do, we are proud that our work on inclusion and diversity is making Diageo a stronger company.”

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