Gender Pay Reporting
Hidden Hearing as a matter of stated policy and, more importantly, values, pays staff according to the role they fulfil and their productivity in it, without gender bias.
At the snapshot date (April 2022) Hidden Hearing recorded a headcount of 556, 64% of whom were female.
The largest single group of employees continues to be our Registered Hearing Aid Dispensers (223 employees) of whom 59% identify as male. Dispensers are paid according to one of two standard packages, both of which have standard basic and standard productivity criteria, the second of which (less costly) replaced the first for all dispensers registering after April 2017. The 2022 figures show that the % of dispensers who identify as female has remained at 41% compared to last year. However, they still have a lower average length of service (see fig.1) which are therefore disproportionately on the new package.
At Hidden Hearing we run our own Trainee Hearing Aid Dispenser programme. In January 2023 the cohort consisted of 14 trainees, 10 identifying as female and 4 as male.
The Operating Manager Group (sales) is made up of 59% of employees who identify as female.
The second largest group of staff, Branch Coordinators have variable basic pay, which is benchmarked against regional comparative roles. There is a standard productivity scheme. 97% of Branch Coordinators identify as female. There has been no change to this %. We had previously changed the role title from Receptionist to Coordinators and in 2023 we will begin using software to screen recruitment advertisements for gender biased language in an attempt to attract a more even gender mix.
The mathematical gap reported is driven by two further facts:
- Dispensers who identify as male are, on average, significantly more productive than their equivalents who identify as female and are paid accordingly. There are two dispensers who identify as female among the top 12 salespeople (6th and 10th) (This is an increase of one on last year's statistics).
- The Board consists of 5 members, all long-serving individuals, 4 of them identify as male and 1 as female. The Company remains mindful of the need for gender balance all the way up the pyramid.
- Between 2019 and 2022, looking at the Upper quartile pay range, there has been an increase in the % of employees identifying as female appearing in the top 25% of earners (from 36 - 42%).
- We are pleased to see the disparity in the upper quartile pay band has reduced with the proportion of females increasing. It is also pleasing to see that despite a decrease of employees identifying as female in the upper middle quartile last year, the % has now returned to 2019 levels at 53%.
- For 2022, the gender pay gap has narrowly increased. Whilst this is disappointing, it can be explained. In May 2021, Hidden Hearing launched a new business area, ear wax removal. In Apr 2022 there were 30 Ear Care Practitioners (wax removal specialists) 27 of the Practitioners identified as female and 3 as male. The ECPs command a lower salary than their Hearing Aid Dispenser colleagues. This is a sector predominantly populated by female employees.
We continue to work to close the Gender Pay Gap by:
- using structured interviews with grading to ensure a fair and consistent process
- recruitment training for managers including cognition of potential unconscious bias
- extending the use of flexible working options for all employees including hybrid working
- from January 2022 Hidden Hearing introduced enhanced company maternity, paternity and adoption leave pay
- In 2023 we will begin using screening for our recruitment adverts used to reduce gender bias in advertising wording.
In November 2021 Demant, Hidden Hearing's parent company, launched a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion survey. Two of the goals of this project are:
1. General gender distribution.
With regard to the gender distribution of our entire employee population, we will strive to achieve a relevant gender balancing. The gender balance of the local labour market varies from country to country, and our efforts will thus reflect both the local situation and our desire to contribute to improving the local gender balance.
2. Employees identifying as female in senior management positions.
Increasing the number of female managers in senior management is one of our focus areas, so when openings for senior management positions are advertised, we insist that the candidate short list includes qualified candidates identifying as female.