Gender Pay Gap Report 2019

2019 Gender Pay Gap Report for RWS Translations Ltd

This report is based on pay data at the ‘snapshot date’ of 5 April 2019 and the bonuses we paid over the 12 months before.

Our gender split in the 2019 reporting period is 32% male to 68% female in a total of 299 employees.

Pay and bonus gap
Mean Median
Hourly pay 32.69% 13.98%
Bonus 32.85% 78.18%


Proportion of employees receiving a bonus payment
Male Female
40.74% 27.63%


Pay quartiles showing the gender distribution in each pay quartile


Male Female
Lower quartile 25.68% 74.32%
Lower middle quartile 26.67% 73.33%
Upper middle quartile 22.67% 77.33%
Top quartile 54.67% 45.33%


As previously reported, the nature of our business means that the gender split for the reporting period ended 5 April 2019 continues to be atypical.  As a translation company, we employ a large number of language graduates who are predominantly female.  They comprise the majority of our production, administration and checking roles which fall into the first three pay quartiles.  However, due to the scientific and technical subject matter of our translations, we employ staff who have qualifications in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in addition to language skills for the higher-paid translator roles.  Females make up 22% of the national STEM workforce overall, hence the levelling out of the gender distribution in the top pay quartile.

According to the Office of National Statistics 2019, the national median gender pay gap among all employees was 17.3%.  Our overall median gender pay gap in April 2019 hit 13.98%, an appreciable movement from 19.63% in 2018 and 24.81% in 2017.  The fact that we employ more females in the lower quartiles is a major driver in our gender pay gap.

We acknowledge that there has been no meaningful change in the top quartile.  This is largely due to the cohort in the top quartile being made up primarily of highly-paid staff translators where traditionally there is a low turnover and long service, which is reflected in higher salaries.

Last year, we asserted our determination to address our gender pay gap.  We said we wanted to tackle the under-representation of females in our science and engineering roles and were working with local schools to encourage girls to combine their languages with a technical subject whilst encouraging boys to continue their language studies.  We had introduced a work experience programme to give pupils and undergraduates insight and first-hand experience into the roles available within RWS Translations Ltd. We have continued to offer our language graduates the opportunity to progress to staff translator positions, sponsoring study for scientific and technical qualifications via the Open University and day release courses at college. As at the end of 2019, we have seven males and six females pursuing this route.

Bonus pay in line with the guidelines includes long service awards.  We continue to run a voucher-based recognition scheme that awards staff for every five years of service.  Typically, the vouchers are for relatively small amounts of between £50 and £250.  However, when these are calculated, together with performance-related bonuses and sales commissions of a considerably higher value, it distorts the bonus pay gap. This year, removing from our calculations the long service awards and also the bonus we pay for introducing new recruits, the mean bonus pay gap is 17.83% and the median bonus pay gap 25.15% in favour of females. We are confident that males and females have an equal opportunity to participate in and earn a bonus.

Although 2018/19 showed some improvements, it was not a year of sustained progress. We are aware that we have some way to go in eliminating our gender pay gap.  To redress this we will continue with the following initiatives which we have in place.  These include:

  • Skills-based assessment in recruitment
  • Structured interviews for recruitment and promotions
  • Improving workplace flexibility
  • Encouraging Shared Parental Leave
  • Recruiting returners
  • Leadership development processes

We also intend to accelerate our reporting on gender pay differences and produce a further report this calendar year to enable us to implement the plan using the ‘Plan-Do-Check-Act’ model.



Desmond Glass

Group CFO, RWS

25 May 2020


NB – Below are our figures for 2018.

Figures for 2018

Pay and bonus gap
Mean Median
Hourly pay 29.63% 19.63%
Bonus 42.94% 52.38%


Proportion of employees receiving a bonus payment
Male Female
49.11% 27.52%


Pay quartiles showing the gender distribution in each pay quartile
Male Female
Lower quartile 28.74% 71.26%
Lower middle quartile 17.05% 82.95%
Upper middle quartile 21.84% 78.16%
Top quartile 53.41% 46.59%