Gender Pay Gap Reporting

Gender Pay Gap Reporting 2022

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.

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.

This year’s analysis shows a change in the figures from previous years, this is due to a much broader range of data than that of the previous year, which was impacted by the Covid 19 pandemic and the implementation of furlough schemes. The furlough schemes impacted all of our store’s channel and field employees. To put this into context, in 2021 we had 17 employees that were classified as a full pay relevant vs relevant employees all of which were within Head Office positions. In 2022 this number has increased to 462 employees with the inclusion of the positions held within the stores channel. An additional consideration for this year is that we have introduced a bonus scheme covering all team members.

The Gender Pay Gap analysis results:

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.

Summary of Results

  • 87% of our employees are women with 88% of these team members working in our stores. As with many retail businesses our gender pay gap is heavily influenced by the fact that a high percentage of our employees in our stores are women, 88% overall. Therefore we have a significantly higher proportion of women than men in our lower paid store roles.
  • Although the overall gender pay gap is 41% it is important to note that 96% of our overall population work in the stores channel and of that, 86% of team members (Bear Builders) are on hourly pay rates that are fixed. We have therefore found no inconsistencies with the pay for males and females doing equivalent jobs within this demographic other than the influence of the national minimum wage categories.
  • Our store managers represent 5% of the stores population with females representing 66% of store managers. The mean gender pay gap within this demographic was 5%.
  • Head Office employees represent 4% of our total population with 52% female and 48% male. Head office salaries are typically higher that that of the stores channel due to the alternative skill sets required for the roles. The majority of our head office employees fall into the upper quartile of results.
  • All team members are included in our company bonus structure from day 1 of employment. 99% of employees received a bonus through the reporting period and we are confident that men and women have equal opportunities to participate in and earn a bonus.

The Mean (Average) gender pay gap for 2022 was 41% which, compared with 20% for the previous year. This year the figure has increased significantly, however consideration must be placed on the reference group which in 2022 allows capture of 462 employees across varied roles vs the 2021 reference range of 17 employees based in full time head office roles.

The Median (Mid-range) gender pay gap was 19% as of 5 April 2022, compared with 6% for the previous year.

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 a mixture of the BABW UK Head Office which represents 4% of our employee population and UK stores employees representing 96%.

For the full pay relevant employees, the 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 the gender representation in the small senior leadership team at BABW UK Head Office. Although the senior leadership team has four people, 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 25% are female and 75% male, there are three are Directors and one Senior Manager. The gender breakdown of the director team is one female and two males. Because the team size is small, the gender breakdown of the director team plays a significant role in the differences in full pay package, which includes bonus payments and salary

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, 63% 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 86.5% of our total headcount used in the range of this report. On the 5 April 2022, the gender split of Bear Builders stood at 92% female and 8% male. In addition the gender split for our UK head office is 52% female and 48% male.

Pay quartiles as of 5 April 2022:

Band Female Male
Upper Quartile 77% 23%
Upper Middle Quartile 85% 15%
Lower Middle Quartile 91% 09%
Lower Quartile 99% 01%


To put the pay quartiles into context, on 5 April 2022 the total headcount across the organisation stood at 87% female and 13% male. Therefore, females represented a large proportion of all the pay quartiles

Our Bear Builders are paid consistently based upon pay ranges which is influenced by the National Minimum Wage along with store location and is irrespective of gender.

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

For the 5 April 2022 measurement period, the gender split of employees who received a bonus was:

  • 99% of females received a bonus
  • 100% of males received a bonus

All team members are included in our company bonus structure from day 1 of employment. The bonus structures are fixed within job roles and are performance based. 99% of employees received a bonus through the reporting period and we are confident that males and females have equal opportunities to participate in, and earn a bonus.

Based on the Gender Bonus Pay analysis, males on average earned an 80% higher bonus than females. It is pertinent to call out that the gender bonus gap is heavily influenced by the bonus weighting of the Director and Senior team. Our inclusive incentive program is planned to continue which is again expected to attract more applicants to retail and increase the earning 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. 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.