By Guy Faulconbridge
LONDON (Reuters) - Thomson Reuters <TRI.N> <TRI.TO>, one of the world's biggest news and information companies, on Tuesday reported a mean gender pay gap for its British entities of 16.95 percent and a mean bonus gap of 50.52 percent.
UK employers with more than 250 staff have to report their gender pay gap by April 4 to the Government Equalities Office, almost 50 years on from the passage of Britain's equal pay act.
"At Thomson Reuters, we believe the strongest workforce is the most diverse workforce; the most competitive in the global economy," said Mark Sandham, senior vice president and chief operating officer for human resources at Thomson Reuters.
"We will continue to champion gender equality and look forward to continuing to measure progress," he said in a report.
The difference in earnings between men and women has provoked significant anger among many women in recent years and sparked a public debate in Britain over why pay is still so different for men and women.
The gender pay gap measures the difference between the average salary of men and women, calculated on an hourly basis.
Compared to other media companies, the Thomson Reuters mean pay gap was higher than at the British Broadcasting Corporation where it was 10.7 percent but lower than at the Financial Times Ltd where it was 24.4 percent or at Channel Four where the mean pay gap was 28.6 percent.
Thomson Reuters said men occupied 71 percent of its senior leadership roles, one of the reasons the bonus pay gap was higher than some other media companies.
At the BBC, the mean bonus gap was 20.3 percent or the Financial Times where the mean bonus gap was 37.9 percent. Spokeswomen for the BBC and FT could not be reached for immediate comment.
"The bonus gap is also impacted by the senior leadership profile as these roles attract long term financial incentives which are included in the bonus gap calculations," Thomson Reuters said.
Among financial companies, Goldman Sachs reported a mean gender pay gap in Britain for its international business of 55.5 percent and a mean bonus gap for the unit of 72.2 percent.
The Thomson Reuters data, submitted to the British government and published on its website http://www.gov.uk as well as on the Thomson Reuters website https://www.thomsonreuters.com/content/dam/ewp-m/documents/thomsonreuters/en/pdf/corporate-responsibility/uk-gender-pay-gap-report-2017.pdf, was combined for all of its British legal entities.
At Thomson Reuters Professional UK Limited, the mean pay gap was 2.43 percent while at Reuters Limited the mean pay gap was 20.23 percent. The respective mean bonus gaps were 51 percent and 40.96 percent.
Thomson Reuters, controlled by Canada's Thomson family, is the parent of Reuters News.
A Thomson Reuters spokesman declined further immediate comment.
(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Carolyn Cohn, Alison Williams and Nick Tattersall)