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Gender Pay Gap

We are passionate about equality, diversity and inclusion and welcome the new gender pay reporting legislation, recognizing it as an opportunity to continue our focus on diversity. The legislation, which came into force in April 2017, requires all UK employers with 250 or more employees to publish annual information detailing pay differences between male and female employees.

Background to gender pay gap reporting

The regulations for the report and how it’s calculated state that a gender pay gap, not an equal pay gap should be identified.

Difference between gender pay and equal pay

A "gender pay gap" is the difference between average male and female pay across an organization, regardless of nature of work. This means that gender distribution across grades will be a significant driver of any gap.

An “equal pay gap”, on the other hand, refers to an unlawful pay gap between male and female employees carrying out equal work. We operate robust and objective pay
processes and are confident that all our employees are paid fairly based on merit.

River Island Gender Pay Gap

While our mean and median pay gaps lean in favour of men, we are pleased that these are significantly lower than those for both the retail sector and the national average. Our median gap is much lower than our mean gap, this is very important to us as it's much more representative of the majority of our employees. However, we want to equalise gender representation across all our grades, which will reduce our gaps further. We will therefore continue to proactively review and address pay and diversity on an ongoing basis.

River Island hourly pay gap

National averages (for comparison)

The “mean” calculation considers basic average pay/bonus across all of our employees, whereas the “median” calculation focusses on those employees in the middle of pay/bonus ranges, thereby reducing the impact of our highest and lowest paid employees.

This table shows our mean and median hourly pay gaps (based on April 2017 payroll data), compared with those for the retail sector and the national average.

*Based on Office for National Statistics Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings 2017

Gender distribution across pay quartiles

The charts below shows the gender makeup of the River Island group workforce in each of four ordinary pay “quartiles”:

Quartiles are calculated by ordering the hourly rates of pay for each employee across the business from lowest to highest and subsequently splitting that list into four equal-sized groups and calculating the percentage of males and females in each group.

Overall, 72.1% of River Island employees are female (as of April 2017), however the gender mix differences between quartiles are not significantly different. We are proud that this demonstrates that we have a diverse representation at different levels of the organization including the company board and this is why our gender pay gaps are significantly below the national averages.

Ordinary pay” includes basic pay, regular allowances, any shift premium and pay for leave, however, it excludes any overtime, pay in lieu of leave or the value of benefits which are not in the form of money and any payments which are not related to the period (such as back pay). Ordinary pay is calculated net of any salary sacrifice deductions but before tax.

River Island bonus gaps

This table shows our mean and median bonus gaps (based on bonus data from April 2016 to March 2017).

Bonus pay” includes anything that relates to profit sharing, productivity, performance, incentive and commission. They must be received in the form of cash, vouchers, securities, securities options, and interests in securities.

We have a good representation of women across all grades, including our senior positions which results in the mean gap showing in favour of women.

The median bonus gap is in favour of men which reflects a slightly higher representation of men in our roles which attract bonus. This mirrors the median ordinary pay gap in favour of men.

Proportion of employees receiving a bonus

Among River Island employees, 11.7% of men and 9.7% of women received a bonus in the 12 months prior to April 2017. These percentages are reflective of the eligibility criteria for the bonuses which is mostly implemented for the staff working at our head office.

Pay and diversity at River Island

At River Island we are passionate about providing a fair and transparent workplace which welcomes and celebrates difference. We are a diverse organization and want to ensure that our workforce and employment practices reflect this.

We are committed to continually developing and improving our gender pay position, and are seeking to do this through a range of pay and diversity initiatives which include:

  • The promotion of flexible working opportunities and part-time roles.
  • Continuing our development programs for everyone to reach their potential.
  • Continually reviewing our policies to ensure they support our employees to balance what matters most to them.

"I am confident that River Island pays both men and women fairly for equivalent roles across the business. As a company that continuously strives for fairness and equality, we welcome this annual requirement to publish our gender pay information, it gives us an opportunity to test the effectiveness of our existing strategies and identify areas for improvement."


We report that the data reported is accurate.