On Thursday, VICE UK staff were informed that the median gender pay gap at the company is 12.6 percent, and told today that the mean pay gap is 18.2 percent.
UK companies with over 250 employees were legally obliged to share their gender and bonus pay gap data by midnight on Wednesday via a government portal, in line with the Equality Act 2010. VICE UK senior management told staff in an email on Thursday that, as none of VICE's separate UK companies (VICE UK, Level Print, i-D, Pulse, VICE UK TV and Starworks) had over 250 employees, and because the law does not allow for the aggregation of various entities' employees, the regulations did not apply to the company this year. However, VICE UK's median gender pay gap figure was calculated using the same assessment process as required under the UK regulations, from a total headcount of 204 men and 211 women across all VICE UK companies.
Management said the figures were shared with staff because they are "committed to being open and transparent", adding that they have already begun a global audit of pay across different roles and levels of the company, which will be completed by the end of the year.
Data collected by the Office for National Statistics last April showed that the difference between the hourly pay of the median employed woman and median employed man in the UK was 18.4 percent.
In total, 91 percent of UK-based media companies paid men more than women on average, based on the mean hourly rate. Condé Nast – publisher of Vogue, GQ, Vanity Fair, Glamour and Tatler magazines – reported a mean gender pay gap of 36.9 percent. Similarly, the Telegraph Media Group reported 35 percent, and the Economist Group 32.5 percent. Media companies with smaller pay gaps were the Guardian, with 11.3 percent, and – despite much early coverage and controversy – the BBC with 10.7 percent.
The Independent and Buzzfeed's UK branches are the only major news organisations not to share gender pay figures, since both fell below 250 employees and figures were not offered voluntarily.
According to the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, 1,557 UK companies missed the deadline to report their gender pay gap figures. Of the 10,000 firms that have published data, over three-quarters pay men more than women. This shouldn't mean unequal pay for the same roles – which is illegal – but can often be an indicator that a company employs more men in senior, highly paid positions than women.
It's unclear what will happen at government level now this data has been published. Many individual companies have said they are taking steps to address their gender pay gaps, but none are legally obliged to publish plans on how they plan to do so, as suggested by equality charity The Fawcett Society.