WPP publishes UK Gender Pay Gap Report for 2021

31 Mar 2022

WPP today publishes its UK Gender Pay Gap Report for 2021 alongside its Annual Report and Sustainability Report for the year.

In addition to statutory Gender Pay Gap reporting, WPP publishes the consolidated data for all eligible WPP companies in the UK. This shows a consolidated median pay gap of 15.6% (down from 17.5% in 2020) and a mean pay gap of 22.2% (2020: 24.6%).

WPP has more than 10,000 employees in the UK and a workforce that is 53% female and 47% male in its eligible companies. However, there are fewer women in the most senior executive roles, where pay is highest, resulting in an overall gender pay gap. WPP continues to focus on improving its gender balance throughout the company and, in particular, at the most senior levels. Female representation amongst WPP’s top earners in the UK continues to increase, and in 2021 women comprised 42% of employees in the top quartile (up from 38% in 2017 when the data was first collected).

In the UK FTSE Women Leaders Review, WPP now ranks eighth out of 100 for gender representation among senior leaders and at board level. The proportion of women on WPP’s Board has increased to 43% (up from 27% in 2018) and WPP was this year recognised as a Leader in the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index for the fourth year in a row.

WPP is focusing its efforts on attracting and promoting more women into senior roles and, during 2021, invested in a number of initiatives to support this goal including:

  • Expanding its development programmes designed for women, such as Walk the Talk and Fast Forward, which provide career coaching and guidance, as well as introducing the US-based sponsorship programme Elevate, designed to provide tools to support Black women in their career growth, to the UK;
  • Enrolling more women on global programmes such as WPP’s early talent programme, NextGen Leaders which aims to diversify the talent pipeline, and Maestro, a senior leadership, client-focused course;
  • Partnering with Brixton Finishing School and the Uninvisibility Project to launch VisibleStart, a free UK training programme for women over the age of 45 who want to enter or rejoin the industry, and finding roles across WPP for at least 20 participants in 2022;
  • Launching diverse candidate slate policies in the UK, United States and APAC, meaning that, for the first time, roles are now specifically marketed and accessible to candidates from under-represented groups; and
  • Introducing updated parental leave policies across WPP companies in the UK and the US, which recognise the challenges of balancing work with family responsibilities and their disproportionate impact on women in the workplace

Jennifer Remling, Chief People Officer at WPP, said: “Investing in a culture where diversity thrives and everyone has the opportunity to do their best work powers our creativity and growth as a business. While we have seen a reduction in our UK gender pay gap across WPP, we need to continue to invest in the development of women at all levels to help them achieve their full potential. We know that progress relies on accountability so we now track our progress against DE&I goals that are linked to leaders’ compensation and quarterly reviews.”


Further information:
Niken Wresniwiro, WPP
+44 (0)20 7282 4600 / +44 (0)7876 005 489
[email protected]

About WPP
WPP is the creative transformation company. We use the power of creativity to build better futures for our people, planet, clients and communities. For more information, visit www.wpp.com.