Asda has revealed its gender pay gap and vowed to tackle the “challenge” of employing more women in senior roles.
The supermarket giant said its median earnings gap – which takes into account wages of middle earners – stood at 8.9% in 2017.
Although that easily bettered the national average of 18.4%, it fell just behind big-four rival Tesco’s gap of 8.7%.
Asda said its mean gender pay gap, which encompasses the hourly rates of pay for all men and women across the business, was 12.5%.
That again came in lower than the national average of 17.4%, but was outstripped by Tesco’s 12% gap.
The Walmart-owned grocer said 86% of its staff are employed in hourly paid roles in its stores. In those positions, Asda said there was no median gender pay gap, since those roles commanded set base rates of pay.
Asda employs more than 149,000 workers in the UK, 57% of whom are female.
However, it said only 35% of senior positions are currently filled by women.
By contrast, 70% of staff in junior roles are female workers.
As part of its report, which was required to be submitted to the Government by April 4, Asda laid out its commitment to closing the gender pay gap further and supporting more women into senior roles.
The grocer said it has already introduced “flexible job design” and “unconscious bias training” to make sure women are encouraged to progress up the ladder within the business.
Parent company Walmart is also part of the global Women in Leadership programme, which looks at best practice for supporting diversity and female progression.
Asda senior vice-president of people Hayley Tatum said: “Rates of pay and access to benefits and opportunities are the same at Asda, regardless of gender.
“Whilst our gender pay gap is better than the national average we recognise that, like many businesses, we have challenges when it comes to female representation in more senior roles – and that is something we’re committed to addressing.”