Gender Pay Report - Working for diversity at Webbs

At Webbs we value the differences which a diverse workforce brings; it’s important our team reflects the wide range of customers we serve on a day-to-day basis.  Webbs is a family business where colleagues can be themselves and where everyone is encouraged to reach their full potential.  We make our decisions about recruitment, reward and promotion on the basis of merit alone. In our last employee engagement survey, 90% of our team agreed that “people here are treated fairly regardless of their sex".

We welcome the opportunity to analyse our gender pay gap as this helps to inform our discussions about career progression for all colleagues. The results for 2018 challenge us to keep asking ourselves how we will continue to develop an even more inclusive and diverse team. While the figures are valuable for the awareness they raise they are only a part of the bigger picture. At Webbs we are actively listening to and involving our colleagues on all levels via internal forums and team surveys to help us deliver more career development opportunities.

How are we progressing?

  Webbs 2018 Webbs 2017 Retail Sector* UK*
Median 0% 1.1% 9.3% 18.4%
Mean 12.8% 14.9% 16.4% 17.4%

* Based on estimates from the National Office of Statistics' Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings 2018

Our median gender pay gap is 0%; another way of looking at this is when comparing median hourly rates of pay, women earn £1 for every £1 that men earn. This shows that we pay fairly when skews are removed.

Last year we achieved our planned objectives including diversity training for all our management team and successfully launching our career development programmes.  In February 2018 we launched our Specialist Training Guarantee where we will fund training courses for our team members, from AAT to RHS qualifications.  We also ran our Future Leaders Programme for the first time – this was open to all colleagues at team member level to apply and 50% of applicants were female.  Two team members, one male and one female were successful in their applications and have just completed this year long programme which included formal and informal learning, mentoring and management level experience.  They are both moving on to the next stages of their Webbs careers.  We’ve just opened this programme again for 2019 so that we can continue to support our colleagues’ development.

In February 2018 we also published transparent career paths linking performance to reward in all areas of our business.  We have seen a number of colleagues progress up through the three career path levels as they take on responsibilities and develop specialisms; this helps to show how we reward and promote fairly on the basis of merit and performance, irrespective of gender or any other irrelevant factors. 

We’re also proud to be working with the Garden Centre Association on their Rising Stars development programme for Retail and Hospitality colleagues; three Webbs team members (two female, one male) are taking part in this programme in 2019.

Rewarding across the team:
Within the reporting period, bonus pay was received by 98.3% of men and 96.4% of women. Bonus pay includes our non-contractual annual profit share scheme, open to all team members who’ve been employed for at least part of the previous year. It also includes Christmas gift vouchers, Webbs Way Awards, “thank yous” to our First Aiders and performance related bonuses for successfully completing our event management secondments.

The statutory reporting method for the Gender Pay Report doesn’t allow for bonuses to be converted into full time equivalents which makes the bonus gap seem wider.  Our mean bonus pay gap is 30.7% and our median bonus pay gap is 6.5%. This reflects the facts that currently more men are in senior leadership roles and more women work part time, therefore their bonuses are pro rata. Whilst this is a significant improvement on last year this may reflect the fact that two sets of bonus payments fell into this reporting period, therefore this is not a like for like comparison with 2017.  Our bonus distribution is carefully moderated to ensure that bonuses are paid on a fair and equal basis across our teams.


How are Webbs doing more?
Over the coming months Webbs will continue to focus on these areas of support for our workforce. These key pillars will allow us to continue growing diversity, equality and to open out pathways to progress across the business.

We will be:

  • Investing in the Webbs team by building our internal talent pools through our Specialist Training Guarantee, Career Paths and Future Leaders Programme;

  • Promoting opportunities for flexible and part time working for all team members;

  • Talking and listening to colleagues to understand perceived barriers to career progression for all groups including women.

I certify that this information is accurate to the best of my knowledge.


Oliver Nation
Finance Director, Webbs Garden Centres Limited