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Gender Pay Gap Reporting

Gender Pay Gap Reporting


Gender Pay Gap reporting was introduced to encourage organisations to review internal pay disparities. The aim of this report is to eventually eliminate the pay differential between men and women. Build-A-Bear Workshop has been preparing these reports since April 2018 when all UK companies were required to share their findings. Over the years we have used the results to enhance our performance review strategies and review our recruitment processes.

For this year as a result of Covid19 there is a significant change in the figures; we had 17 employees who can be classified as full pay relevant vs relevant employees. The data for this analysis was taken from a snapshot date of 5 April 2021. When we look back to this time last year, there was uncertainty amongst organisations as to what the future held and, as a result, there is a smaller proportion of employees we can use as a reference.

At Build-A-Bear Workshop, our Mission is to ‘Add a Little More Heart Illustration to Life.’ As such, our Core Values put people at the heart of what we do. The past year has seen this message driven even further through our strategic goals and the evolution of our Core Values - we are committed to treating everyone fairly, by valuing the diversity, individuality and background of all associates, Guests and business partners irrespective of their background, and to giving associates opportunities for development based on performance.

The Gender Pay Gap analysis results:


On average, men were paid 20% more than women, with the average pay per hour recorded as £41.22 for men vs £33.07 for women. This is based on the full pay relevant, and at this snapshot reference only 17 employees were paid a full-time wage while the rest of our employees were either working 80% or on furlough.

As per government requirements we looked at the full-pay relevant employees, which refers to all the employees who were employed by the company on the snapshot date, and: (i) are paid their usual full basic pay during the pay period in which the snapshot date falls (the relevant pay period), or (ii) are paid less than their usual basic pay or piecework rate, or none at all, during the pay period that includes their snapshot date, if it is for reasons other than leave (for example because of irregular working hours). For Build-A-Bear Workshop, the full pay relevant employees are the Head Office employees. We also used relevant employees, these are all the employees employed by Build a Bear as at the snapshot day.

The Mean (Average) gender pay gap for 2021 was 20% which, when compared to previous years, is higher than 7% at 5 April 2020, but lower than 20.99% for 5 April 2018. For this year the figure has increased however consideration must be placed on the reference group which equates to 17 employees which is significantly lower than the rest of the business.

The Median (Mid-range) gender pay gap was 13% as at 5 April 2021.

The guidelines for this Gender Pay Gap report were based on full pay relevant employees that were paid full pay as of the measurement date. For Build-A-Bear Workshop, the eligible employees are salaried paid in Head Office which make up only 2.8% of our employee population, a percentage which is too small to form concrete conclusions with respect to the true gender pay gap results in our business.

For the full pay relevant employees, the 13% median gender pay gap results from factors such as bonus payments and hourly pay quartiles. In this category of full pay relevant employees, there are higher proportion of men compared to women in the higher pay quartiles.

Another factor that contributed to the gender pay gap was the change in Head Office head count and the proportion of male representation in our small senior leadership team at Head Office. Although the senior leadership team has four people who are split equally based on gender, the level of seniority differs which results in a gender pay gap. Of the four senior leadership team members as at the snapshot date, the gender breakdown is 50% are female and 50% are male and there are three are Directors and one Manager. Because the team size is so small, the fact that one of the team members who is female is a Manager while the other three team members are Directors, plays a significant role in the differences in full pay package, which includes bonus payments and the salary.

Another reason for the gender pay gap is the classification of the relevant and full pay relevant employees. All salaried employees were furloughed due to Covid19 meaning the figures for the 5 April 2021 gender pay gap calculation are predominately based from the Head Office salaried paid employees.

From a holistic perspective as part of a global business we are proud to say that the Board of Directors of our ultimate parent based in North America is 43% female, and the President and CEO (and highest paid employee) of our ultimate parent company is female. Additionally, 50% of the C-Level employees of our ultimate parent company are female.

Our largest proportion of our employees are Bear Builders (Sales Assistants). This group of employees accounted for 90% of our total headcount. At 5 April 2021, the gender split of Bear Builders stood at 87.5% female and 12.5% male consisting of 441 female and 63 males.

The median pay gap is (20) which demonstrates that despite the top earners in the company being male, the mid-point hourly rate for males and females only varies by £0.45.

Pay quartiles as of 5 April 2021:

Band Upper Quartile Upper Middle Quartile Lower Middle Quartile Lower Quartile
Women 0% 25% 100% 100%
Men 100% 75% 0% 0%

The Bear Builders are paid consistently based upon pay ranges which is also determined by location and store size irrespective of gender.

To put the pay quartiles into context, on 5 April 2021 the total headcount across the organisation stood at 85% female and 15% male. Therefore, females represented a large proportion of all the pay quartiles.

When we look at the overview of the whole business, the Gender Bonus pay analysis results:

For the 5 April 2021 measurement period, the gender split of employees who received a bonus was:

  • 11% of females received a bonus
  • 29% of males received a bonus

Meaning the men were proportionately more likely to receive a bonus than women.

On average, men received a 46% higher bonus payment than women and, the median bonus payment for men was 57% greater than for women.

Based on the Gender Bonus Pay analysis, males were more likely to receive a bonus and on average earned a 57% higher bonus than their female counterparts. It is noteworthy that at the time the data was taken because only store bonuses were paid out, there were only a limited number of job roles eligible for a bonus. During the pay period analyzed, only one Head Office employee was paid a bonus which was a result of his Long-Term Incentive payout that vested in the reference period. Within the past year we have introduced store-wide incentive schemes designed to encourage more applicants to join retail and which are expected to increase the earnings potential for our team members.

Retail continues to attract employees who require flexibility and want to balance employment with education or other personal commitments. We were already aware that our core customer-facing employees, Bear Builders, are predominantly female, but this analysis has highlighted the significant variance. We know this pattern is mirrored across the retail industry at large, but specifically is more notable at Build-A-Bear Workshop, as our brand is generally a more attractive place of work for females due to their familiarity with our brand.

Our challenge continues to be encouraging male applicants to join our Bear Builder population and to encourage increased representation of females in leadership roles. We aim to increase the number of female leaders by working closely with our female employees on their development plans in order to identify our future leaders. This whole process is imbedded within our annual performance review programme as we continuously look at ways to balance our representation of males and females across all levels.