Published 3rd April 2024

Aardman Gender Pay Gap 2023

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion are at the heart of Aardman, from our Partners (our employees and freelancers) working with us to the stories that we tell. Since we first reported on Gender Pay in 2020 and discovered that we did have a Gender Pay Gap, we have been working hard to ensure that our culture, policies and processes are equitable and fair for all.

Understanding the numbers

It is important to understand that Gender Pay is different from Equal Pay. Equal Pay is women and men being paid equally for the same/similar level of work and we ensure, through regular Equal Pay audits, that men and women at Aardman are paid equally for work of equal value.  Gender Pay is the difference in average hourly pay between women and men.

In alignment with current requirements for gender pay gap reporting, gender must be reported in a binary way, recognising only men and women. This means the gap does not take into account non-binary or other identities.

In reporting on Gender Pay Gap, key reporting statistics look at median and mean pay data. The median is calculated by arranging all the hourly pay rates of women in order from lowest to highest. The same is then done for all the hourly pay rates for men. The median shows the difference in pay between the middle ranked man and the middle ranked woman.

The mean pay gap is the difference between the average hourly pay of all the men and women.

Our Gender Pay Gap

Overall, Gender Pay Gap



Mean Pay Gap



Median Pay Gap



Mean Bonus Gap



Median Bonus Gap




Bonus Eligibility










Pay Quartiles












Upper Middle





Lower Middle










Understanding our results

Our Gender Pay Gap is down to two reasons. We have proportionately more men than women in our upper two pay quartiles and more women than men in our lower two quartiles. We are fortunate to have low staff turnover at Aardman, but this also means we have reduced opportunities to hire women into more senior level roles.

All employees are eligible for the same bonus amount regardless of salary. Our Bonus Pay Gap is because we have more women than men working part time hours, which means they receive a pro-rated bonus amount.

What we are doing to close the gap

While our mean pay gap has slightly reduced since 2022 the median gap has increased, and we are disappointed by this. We are continuing to take positive steps to reduce this and tackle our pay gap and strive for an increase in representation of women in our technical and more senior level roles.

We have invested in trainee roles across all areas of the company, including in roles more traditionally held by men and are pleased that at least 50% of these trainee roles are held by women. This is however a long-term initiative, and it will take time for the women in these roles to develop their skills and knowledge and progress through the pay quartiles.

All recruiting managers have undertaken Unconscious Bias training to ensure greater inclusivity in our hiring processes and minimise any biases as part of this process. We aim for a 50/50 gender spilt in the shortlisting for all vacancies. We have also reviewed the language in all our recruiting processes to ensure there is no gender bias and have highlighted flexibility and hybrid working options where possible.

We know that there are fewer women than men in specialist technical roles across the studio.  One of these areas is in our Gaming/Interactive department. We continue to be involved in outreach initiatives within our local community and within the national gaming industry. This work highlights the opportunities there are for women within technical roles and we hope this will (in time) see more women applying for roles in this area.

We recognise that achieving gender equality in the workplace relies on men and women being able to balance work and family life. We have a flexible and family friendly culture to better support our partners juggling family and work responsibilities. This includes Flexible Working, Hybrid working and Enhanced Maternity and Paternity pay (linked to aggregated serviceaggregated service adds up all of the individual contracts of our project-based employees to allow them the same access to benefits as permanent employees).

One of our ED&I initiatives has been to set up an “Aardwomen” Group. This group provides a place where women can talk freely about their experiences within the industry, in a supportive and inclusive way. One of the many initiatives to come out of Aardwomen has been a Mentorship scheme during 2023, involving over 20 pairings of Mentor/Mentees with women and men from across the whole of Aardman participating.

In Summary

Whilst we are disappointed that a Gender Pay Gap still exists at Aardman, we are fully committed to tackling this and will continue to ensure that all that we do enables change in this area.