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Gender pay gap report 2019

This report provides The Pensions Regulator's (TPR) gender pay gap data as at 31 March 2019, together with an analysis of the data, and an update on progress towards our gender pay gap action plan.

Gender pay gap reporting - an overview

Employers with 250 or more employees are required by law to publish gender pay gap information annually. This includes the mean and median gender pay gaps; the mean and median gender bonus gaps; the proportion of men and women who received bonuses; and the proportions of male and female employees in each pay quartile.

The gender pay gap shows the difference between the average pay between men and women. If a workplace has a particularly high gender pay gap, this can indicate there may be a number of issues to deal with, and the individual calculations may help to identify what those issues are. Used to its full potential, gender pay gap reporting is a valuable tool for assessing levels of equality in the workplace, female and male participation, and how effectively talent is being maximised.

The gender pay gap differs from equal pay.

Equal pay deals with the differences between men and women who carry out the same jobs, similar jobs or work of equal value. It is unlawful to pay people unequally because they are a man or a woman.

This report fulfils TPR’s gender pay gap reporting requirements. In addition, we have included further analysis of the data to better understand TPR’s gender pay gap and provided an update on progress towards our gender pay gap action plan.

This information is published on the government’s designated gender pay gap reporting website and TPR’s intranet.

Gender pay gap data

Gender composition

TPR’s gender pay gap data was collected on the snapshot date of 31 March 2019. At this time there were 679 people within TPR’s workforce in scope for reporting, consisting of 341 women (50.2%) and 338 (49.8%) men. There were a further 31 employees who were in scope for the bonus gap calculations but were not in scope for the pay gap reporting.

This shows that there was a relatively even balance of females and males in scope of the calculation.

The tables below show TPR’s overall median and mean gender pay and bonus gap based on hourly rates of pay and bonus.

Gender pay gap

Median  Mean 
Gender pay gap  8.7%  11% 

This year our median pay gap increased by 1.7% and our mean pay gap increased by 3.1%.

The small increase to the median pay gap is due to the slight increase of females in the lower and lower middle quartiles, and a slight decrease in females in the upper middle and upper quartiles, thereby lowering the effective midpoint of their hourly rates.

There are two primary reasons behind the increase in the mean pay gap. Firstly, our female Chief Executive left the organisation on 1 March 2019. As she was not an employee for the snapshot date of 31 March 2019, she was not included in this year’s calculations and her salary significantly impacted our previous gender pay gap ratios. Secondly, whilst the profile of new starters in the reporting period was a relatively even split of 58 females to 61 males, more females were recruited into lower pay grades.

TPR’s pay gap is almost half the national average of 17.3% published in the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in 2019, comparing favourably.

The proportion of males and females receiving a bonus payment 

Male  Female 
Proportion of males and females receiving a bonus payment 23.4% 24.7%

TPR operates an annual discretionary bonus scheme for performance over and above the requirements of the job. The proportion of females receiving a bonus this year was 24.7% and for males 23.4%. This was a decrease for both genders of by 14.7% for females and 8.3% for males since 2018.

We continue to use moderation meetings to guard against discrimination or favouritism to ensure performance ratings and bonus decisions are fair and consistent.

Gender bonus gap

Median  Mean 
Gender bonus pay gap  9.6% 11.1%

The median bonus gap decreased by 16.5% and the mean bonus gap increased by 12.6%.

These changes are attributable to a discrepancy in how the figures were calculated last year. Previous calculations included small thank you rewards which should have been excluded.

The 16.5% decrease in the median bonus gap is due to the exclusion of the small value of the small thank you rewards. This year the bonus data is not skewed by the small values of the small thank you rewards which have previously been awarded more to women and has significantly reduced the number of people in scope for gender bonus gap reporting compared to last year.

This means that our bonus pay gap for 2018 was underestimated. If we recalculated TPR’s mean bonus gap for 2018 excluding the small thank you rewards, we would have had a mean bonus gap of 4.3%, some 5.7% higher than what was reported. This would have resulted in us reporting an increase to the mean bonus gap this submission of 6.8%, not 12.6%.

Secondly, the organisation’s highest paid female employee, the former Chief Executive, left the organisation on 1 March 2019. As she was not an employee for the snapshot date of 31 March 2019 her bonus is not included in this year’s calculations. Her bonus had a significant impact on our previous gender bonus gap as no comparable female appointments were made during this reporting period.

Proportion of males and females in each quartile band

Quartile Male %  Female % 
Upper quartile  57.4%  42.6%
Upper middle quartile 54.1%  45.9% 
Lower middle quartile 50.0%  50.0%
Lower quartile 37.6% 62.4%

The proportion of males and females in each quartile band has remained similar to last year, however there has been a slight increase (0.7%) of females occupying the lower and lower middle quartile, and a slight decrease (2%) of females occupying the upper middle and upper quartile.

Understanding the data

In addition to our legal requirements, we have chosen to carry out further analysis to better understand TPR’s gender pay gap and its causes, in order to tackle it more effectively going forward.

Our analysis shows that TPR’s pay gap continues to be the result of an under representation of women working in technical roles which attract a higher salary (see table 1) and an under representation of men working in non-technical roles which attract a lower salary (see table 2).

Table 1 - gender split of technical teams

Male %  Female % 
Finance 47.1 52.9
Investment Consultancy 100 0
Business Analysis (case) 80 20
Actuarial 76.5  23.5 
IT 86.5 13.5
Data 60  40

Table 2 - gender split of non technical teams

Male %  Female % 
Regulatory Transactions 40.7 59.3
Procurement and Facilities 20 80
Personal Assistants Team  100
Human Resources 20 80
Customer Support 39.3  60.7 

This under representation of women working in technical roles within TPR is driven by the gender imbalance of women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and maths) fields. Figures show that whilst overall, the percentage of female graduates with core STEM degrees is steadily growing, the split is still just 26% and there has been a rapid growth in the number of men graduating in these subject areas. This figure is also translated in the female STEM workforce, with women making up only 22%. This shows that more work needs to be done to encourage women to both study these subjects, and transition into the workforce.

Taking action to close the gap

We know we have more work to do to improve our gender pay gap and last year we prioritised three areas for action. Here we report on our progress for each area and how we plan to encourage further progress.

Continuing to ensure our recruitment processes are fair and transparent

Our existing recruitment process is aligned to the Civil Service Recruitment Principles as this ensures the recruitment and selection of staff is based on merit, as well as fair and open competition.

We consistently review our recruitment guidance, practices and training to ensure diversity considerations are embedded and promoted and aim to move away from traditional recruitment methods. This year we strengthened our recruitment function with the creation of the role of a recruitment lead to develop a new recruitment strategy for TPR and have started to explore an applicant tracking system which will support diversity monitoring at all stages of the recruitment process.

People managers received training on recruiting. We are in the process of re-designing and rolling out ongoing recruitment training for all our people managers to ensure that good practice is being applied across the organisation. This is from the beginning of the recruitment process, through to when hiring decisions are being made.

Encouraging internships and apprenticeships in areas with a larger gender pay gap

We run an annual process to recruit interns from two local universities. We recruit from an open field of males and females and we continue to work hard with them to attract female interns into traditionally male dominated technical areas of the business to support our longer-term ambitions.

We have continued to explore building relationships with local sixth forms to offer career talks with a specific focus on data and actuarial careers.

We are in early discussions to develop our partnerships with the local universities and sixth form colleges, by focusing on the relationship between STEM subjects and regulation.

We offer apprenticeship options in STEM subjects, including the Economist apprenticeship standard and Data Scientist apprenticeship. When advertising this we will state our aim to encourage female applicants.

We continue to offer apprenticeship opportunities to all staff and consider applications for apprenticeships from part-time workers to enable women to develop their careers and reach their full potential.

Ensuring our entire workforce receives education around unconscious bias and other principles around diversity and inclusion

We recognise that improving our gender pay gap will only succeed with the right culture and working environment. At TPR we have a wide range of inclusive related training to take advantage of through Civil Service Learning. Unconscious bias and equality and diversity essentials elearning is mandatory for all staff. The HR team received training on how to investigate and manage allegations of sexual harassment.

We work hard at continuously improving our employee offer to encourage and support staff at key points in their working lives. This year we ran an educational programme on the menopause as part of our wellbeing programme and included it within our sickness monitoring so that we can support staff better at this stage of life.

We celebrated National Inclusion Week. We use this week as an opportunity to highlight the importance of inclusion and to focus on the things that we are doing to become a more inclusive employer and regulator.

We support our staff diversity networks to deliver initiatives to promote diversity and inclusion. This year we supported our Women’s Network to partner with the Girls’ Network whose mission is to inspire and empower girls from the least advantaged communities by connecting them with a network of professional female role models. This partnership is one of the approaches to addressing TPR’s gender pay gap in the longer term to help challenge gender stereotypes at work by providing female mentors in schools. It is also a way in which we can reach out to support our local community.

Looking ahead

We know we have more work to do. As part of our equality objectives for 2020-21 we are creating a Diversity and Inclusion Committee to oversee the development and implementation of a longer-term Diversity and Inclusion strategy to realise our ambitions to promoting equality of opportunity and creating inclusion both as an employer and as a regulator.

The Diversity and Inclusion Committee will review the progress made against our gender pay gap action plan and identify future priorities.