The gender pay gap in London’s top hospitality establishments has narrowed to 5.9% (or £1,784) in 2018 as a result of salaries for female employees increasing at a higher level than those for male employees. The gender pay gap for 2017 was 9.7% (or £2,712), according to a survey by hospitality recruiter The Change Group over the past two years.
In London, salaries for female chefs and kitchen employees working back of house increased by an average of 24.4% in 2018, or £6,136 in real terms, over 2017. Meanwhile, back of house salaries for male employees increased by 13.3%, or £3,859, helping to reduce the pay gap.
Front of house salaries for female waiting staff and managers rose by 3.4% or £983. Meanwhile, average front of house salaries for male workers decreased by 7.1%, or £2,343.
The number of women applying to work in London’s top kitchens grew by 16.7%, while the number of male applicants declined by 14.4%. However, men still dominate London’s luxury hospitality establishments, representing more than four out of every five employees (82.4%) working back of house.
In 2018, more than half (53.3%) of all applicants looking to work front of house were women, and the number of women candidates rose by almost half (45.4%) while the number of male employees seeking work declined by 12.6%.
All UK organisations with more than 250 employees must report their gender pay gap data on the government website on an annual basis by 4th April. This is the second year that companies have been required to publish information on gender pay differences.
More than 300 hospitality businesses, including many of the UK’s top luxury restaurants and hotels, have already reported their gender pay gap data. Based on the information reported to the 1st April, the average UK gender pay gap for the hospitality industry as a whole is 6.5%, down from 8.5% in 2018.
“The past year has seen strong growth in the number of women applying to work in hospitality, in their salaries as well as in their access to senior positions,” said Jim O’Brien, Director for The Change Group.
“Our data indicates a gender pay gap among London’s luxury and fine dining establishments of less than 6%, which is below the national average for the sector. Women represent a huge talent opportunity for the hospitality sector. We are seeing more and more companies tailor-make job opportunities to appeal to and attract further women, especially to work as chefs. The data demonstrates the successful efforts that top hospitality employers are making to smash the glass ceiling for female employees.”