For over 100 years, Freemans has been at the forefront of home shopping, delivering quality products and exceptional service. We’ve accepted the challenge to transform our business into a modern, digital-first retailer.

As a business, we depend on a fusion of identities, characteristics, backgrounds, and cultures to fully appreciate our people and our customers. Gender plays a significant role in this fusion.

Freemans has a long-standing commitment to ensuring fairness and balance.

Our company is an inclusive organisation where everybody can make the most of their talent and abilities. We are proud that our workforce is gender-balanced across all levels of our business, from the executive function downwards.

Our pay, reward, and progression approach is based solely on fairness and merit. Our values and policies ensure that all colleagues receive fair and equitable treatment. We work hard to attract the very best talent, develop our workforce and create a culture of fairness and integrity for our people and our customers

The Background

In 2017, legislation came into force requiring all companies with over 250 employees to publish their gender pay gap.

We strive to create a fair and diverse environment where everybody can realise their full potential. Transparency on our Gender pay gap is an important indicator of our progress.

The gender pay gap measures differences between the average earnings of men and women across the organisation irrespective of grade, seniority or position.

Equal pay 

The Gender pay gap measures the difference in average pay between male and female employees. Equal pay is different, and the Gender pay gap does not measure it.

Freemans plc is committed to providing equal pay for equal work. Working with Willis Towers Watson, we utilise an objective job evaluation process to ensure that we compensate fairly based on job worth.


Our workforce remains gender-balanced, it consists of 60% females and 40% males.

OUR NUMBERS – 2022/23

Gender Pay Gap
Gender pay gap (Mean) – 15.25%
Gender pay gap (Median) – 7.53%

Pay by Quartiles


Male 44%
Female 56%

Upper Middle

Male 41%
Female 59%

Lower Middle

Male 30%
Female 70%


Male 41%
Female 59%

Bonus Gender Pay Gap:
Bonus Gender pay gap (Mean) – 37.81%
Bonus Gender pay gap (Median) – 33.44%

Proportion of Men and Women receiving Bonus:


Male 63%
Female 75%


Our mean gender pay gap of 15.25% remains 0.95 points higher than the 2023 national average of 14.3%. Over the past three years, however, we have sustained a much lower gender pay gap, which is circa 10% pts lower than our reports of 2017/18 to 2019/20.

Our Median pay gap has decreased significantly. At 7.53%, it’s at its lowest point since our GPG reporting began. The decrease is partly driven by targeted increases for junior staff based on market changes. We utilise a market-rated approach to salary benchmarking, ensuring we remain competitive.

Our top salaries are much more equal between men and women than previously. However, since 60% of our employees are women, many in junior management and office jobs, our pay and bonus figures are lower on average.

Women’s fashion is the leading category in our business, so we have strong female representation at all levels and generally attract more interest from female applicants in some of our business areas.

Despite this, we strive to achieve gender balance in our workforce. We’re particularly proud that our senior management grades are evenly represented by males and females. In 2023, 60% of staff who joined Freemans in 2023 were female.

This represents an opportunity to close the gap in our numbers by increasing the representation of men in our starting grades.

We have a substantial reward culture at Freeman’s. The vast majority of our employees are eligible for a performance bonus.

Note for comparison, a retiming of bonus payments in 2022 also impacted the numbers in that year.

We have respectable rates of retention within our company, the average service of our staff is 11 years, this can make progression challenging. As we work through business transformation, we’ll identify new opportunities and potential for growth – this will enable us to tap into the skills we’re cultivating internally.


We continue to seek the best talent in the marketplace – irrespective of gender. Our working practices are flexible. We accommodate an agile working policy and excellent paid leave. We have and will continue to attract a diverse and broad talent base.


We work hard to ensure gender neutrality in recruitment and base recruitment decisions on merit and objective evidence. We advertise our opportunities widely across all spectrums of society via our internet site and LinkedIn.


One of our values is Honesty. We encourage and reward this from all staff. In addition to line managers and traditional communication routes, we have several internal mechanisms for the team to give real-time feedback on what’s good and bad. Twice a year, we run pulse surveys to gauge the opinion of our workforce and hear their views.


We invest in our management population giving them all the opportunity to progress to leadership. Our inspired leadership programme is an ongoing initiative aimed at equipping our future leaders to coach, develop, manage change and maintain situational awareness.

I confirm the gender pay gap data contained in this report for Freemans PLC is accurate and that data reported is accurate as of the snapshot date 5 April 2023.

Ann Steer – Chief Executive Officer

For our previous Gender Pay Gap reports see here: