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Asos makes progress on its ethnic pay gap – but the gender pay gap still persists

Image courtesy of Asos

Asos says it has become one of the first major fashion retailers to publish its ethnicity pay gap data. The data shows that it has closed its primary ethnic pay gap – but that the gender pay gap still persists.

The pureplay fashion retailer, ranked Top50 in RXUK Top500 research, says analysis of its salary data shows that median pay for its ethnic minority employees is now 5.9% higher than the median pay of their white counterparts. Today’s data marks a significant change since 2020, when white employees earned 15.3% more than members of staff from ethnic minorities. Within that, however, black members of staff earn a median 13.4% less than white counterparts, and the “mixed/multiple ethnic” group earns 14.1% less. 

The gender pay gap also persists, with the median man paid 32.3% more than the median woman. That’s increased from 30.6% in 2020. Asos says this is because women are underrepresented in higher paid leadership and technology roles, while there are higher levels of women in entry level roles in its customer care and commercial teams. Asos says it outsources supply chain and logistics jobs that tend to employ more men, so their salaries are not included in the data. 

The news comes as Asos releases data on how it pays its staff, analysed both in terms of ethnicity and of gender as part of its new 2030 Fashion with Integrity scheme, which is in turn part of its corporate responsibility programme. One of its goals is to ‘be diverse’. In order to achieve that it aims to reflect UK demographics by ensuring that its combined leadership team is 50% female by 2023, and at least 15% made up of people from ethnic minority groups. 

Currently, 19% of Asos staff are from ethnic minorities, but only 7% of those are in combined leadership roles. Some 42% of its leadership team are women – up from 23% in 2020. The retailer aims to raise this to 50% by 2023, and for its engineering, product and science jobs to be 40% women by 2030. Asos plans to launch a technical skills development programme for women in engineering in science by 2025.

Nick Beighton, chief executive of Asos, said: “We’re publishing our ethnicity pay gap alongside our gender pay gap today because we believe it’s a vital step towards understanding and improving ethnic minority representation within Asos and the wider industry. While we have made some significant improvements in some areas over the last 12 months, we know we still have a long way to go. We are using this data to help us lay the foundations of a truly inclusive culture and create a people experience that is like no other.

“It is our belief that our goals and progress should be made public in this way so we can be held accountable. We hope that other businesses commit to doing the same to encourage change across our industry.”

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