Wolseley Gender Pay Gap Report 2022

At Wolseley, we want to ensure everyone treats others with fairness and respect. It is one of our core company values and we believe that regardless of how we identify, our background, or our circumstances, we all deserve the opportunity to develop our skills to our full potential, whilst working in a safe, supportive, and inclusive environment.

We are committed to ensuring that gender equality, diversity and inclusion are at the very heart of our business through our Fairness and Respect Board and its working groups. Through this, we listen to and work with our colleagues to identify where we can make improvements to create an environment where they feel happy and comfortable working at Wolseley.

This report outlines our gender pay gap and the actions we believe will help us to reduce the gap and continue to embed a truly inclusive culture at Wolseley.

We are pleased to have a higher female representation in the business in this report, with women comprising 20.0% of the workforce compared to last year’s report of 19.1%. This highlights some of the success against our commitments made in previous reports to continue to attract and retain female talent within Wolseley.

We continue to report solely on Wolseley UK Limited ("Wolseley") for this year's report being the largest company in the Wolseley Group. It has over 250 employees.

What is the gender pay gap?

The gender pay gap is the difference in median pay between men and women. This means if all male and female salaries were listed highest to lowest, we would look at the two 'middle' salaries and compare the difference between the two.

Gender pay gap reporting should not be confused with Equal Pay, which is a legal requirement and ensures a group of people carrying out similar duties are paid fairly compared to one another.

Our gender pay gap

In Wolseley, we are delighted to state our mean gender pay gap has reduced by 0.5% (from 4.97% last year) to 4.47% in this report. 

We have a gender pay gap under the median calculation of 1.03%. This is a relatively small increase from last year and remains considerably lower than the national UK gender pay gap in 2022 of 14.9%.1

Our mean and median gender pay gaps continue to remain among the best performing UK companies in terms of Gender Pay equality. We believe the following actions continue to contribute towards our gender pay gap being better than the national average:

  • Our minimum pay rate (branded Wolseley Wage) remains at 30 pence per hour more than the National Living Wage. The National Living Wage being an obligatory minimum payable to workers in the UK aged 23 and over which from April 2022 was £9.50 per hour, which will be increasing to £10.42 from April 2023
  • All our apprentices and colleagues under 23 years’ old are paid our full adult pay rate, rather than the lower tier permitted under the National Minimum Wage
  • An effective grading structure and disciplined pay management ensures consistency across our distributed business operations

While our mean rate has improved, we are not complacent and strive to ensure that we maintain and improve both the mean and median pay gap within Wolseley.

Our gender bonus gap

For the reporting period April 2021 – March 2022, the proportion of men in Wolseley paid a bonus during the period was 85.1% compared to 80.2% of women. The proportion of males receiving a bonus payment reduced by 2.7% (from 87.8%) and the proportion of females receiving a bonus payment increased by 4.2% (from 76.0%). Our bonus schemes are not based on personal performance and we would expect to see this gap continue to reduce in the future also. 

In Wolseley, we are pleased to report the mean bonus gap between males and females has reduced by 8.29%, to 39.53% (from 47.82%). The median has also significantly reduced by 27.06%, to 13.45% (from 40.51%). 

The narrowing of the mean gender pay gap over the last year means that we can now expect this to flow into the gender bonus gap over time, due to the lagging nature of this metric.

Salary quartiles

The legislation requires us to identify our overall pay range, divided into equally sized quartiles and populated with the proportion of men and women colleagues in each quartile (with Q4 being the highest quartile). This is set out below:

  Percentage of men Percentage of women 
Q1 81.7% 18.3%
Q2 76.6% 23.4%
Q3 78.7% 21.3%
Q4 83.2%  16.8%


The merchanting sector has historically been heavily represented by male colleagues, but we are working hard to improve our female-to-male ratio across the organisation. We know that many factors play into this and it is not something we can change overnight. We remain committed to improving this ratio, but as highlighted previously it may take some time before we see significant change.

However, we have seen strong signs of improvement which leads us to believe that the initiatives and actions we have taken in the last few years are working positively to achieve a balanced proportion of males and females throughout the organisation, relative to our industry.

The majority of our lower quartile roles are based in our branches and distribution centres, with most female colleagues remaining in the Q2 and Q3 populations.

How are we working to address this?

We want to continue to improve the gender balance of our workforce. We will do this by attracting the best female talent to the business, while encouraging and nurturing the talent we already have. 

We have a number of actions and initiatives to achieve this, but as with any change programme, sustained improvement takes time.

We have:

  • Continued to target increased applications from women by using social media 
  • Continued to target an increased number of shortlisted female candidates at the recruitment stage
  • Offered unconscious bias training for our leaders as well as a diversity and inclusion online training module for all colleagues 
  • Further enhanced our maternity pay to support with the attraction and retainment of women in the business
  • Objectively reviewed any flexible working requests and challenge managers to consider alternative ways of working which are supportive of the needs of all colleagues but particularly female colleagues
  • Continued to offer hybrid working in some parts of our business to enable employees to achieve a better balance between work and home life
  • Ensured support for female colleagues is addressed in the talent management process
  • Used our inductions to better support colleagues in their first year and on their return to work from extended leave
  • Further improved our flexibility, aiming to offer true flexibility when recruiting. This is part of our overall objective of working to create a positive workplace culture, where the company places more emphasis on overall productivity and performance rather than counting hours spent at a desk
  • Focused on wellbeing within the business through various Company led initiatives to support employees’ wellbeing

Additionally, we are continuing to focus on:

  • Our website and social media platforms – keeping a focus on positive female representation and the roll-out of the internal social media collaboration platform for colleagues
  • The environment that women work in, particularly around facilities in branches, culture in offices and branches and female uniforms
  • Identifying ways in which we can remove any potential for unconscious bias. Promoting a flexible approach to work – supporting part-time options, job-share and flexible working hours and further looking to advertise these types of roles
  • Further develop diversity and inclusion training as part of our mandatory suite of core training for all colleagues including menopausal awareness

In conclusion

We are proud of the progress we are making and we welcome the opportunity to share the details of our gender pay gap reporting.

Sarah Broughton, Group HR Director 

(1) From the UK Office of National Statistics Gender Pay Gap in the UK: 2022