September 2019: our gender pay journey so far...

What is the Gender Pay Gap? 

The gender pay gap is the difference between the average hourly pay rate for women and men in an organisation. Most organisations have a gender pay gap, with men earning more than women on average. The reasons for the gap are complex, and often historical.

RPS has a gender pay gap, in common with most organisations. This doesn’t mean that we don’t pay men and women equally for the same job. Equal pay means women and men being paid at the same level in the same job, or for a job of equal value. In situations where people are not receiving equal pay for the same job this can be put right quite quickly. Addressing a gender pay gap is a longer-term project as there are many factors involved.

Why is RPS looking at our Gender Pay Gap?

The Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap) Regulations 2017 came into effect in April 2017. Since then, all organisations with more than 250 employees have been required to publish their gender pay data on the government Gender Pay Website. RPS has about 220 employees, so we don’t have to report our gender pay gap. We’ve decided to publish it because we want to be an inclusive and fair place to work where our employees can reach their full career potential.

What are we doing to change things? 

We’ve been taking active steps to reduce our Gender Pay gap, but we’re only at the beginning of our journey. The first step was to measure the gap. We published our 2018 figures earlier this year. Next, we need to understand what’s behind our pay gap as we recognise that there are many complex factors that contribute to this.

We will continue our action to reduce the impact of gender pay disparity within RPS while remaining inclusive and fair in everything we do.

We have taken many positive steps, including:

  • Reporting our gender pay information voluntarily on the government website (see table below)
  • Engaging with our employees more openly about our pay gap and inviting them to be part of the solution
  • Creating the RPS Inclusion and diversity (ID) Group
  • Delivering mandatory unconscious bias training to all people managers
  • Equalising maternity, paternity and adoption leave pay, to encourage men to take more leave for caring responsibilities
  • Reviewing our recruitment processes to reduce unconscious bias, for example reducing gender-coded language
  • Committing to reviewing and standardising our pay, recognition and promotion processes
  • Introducing a mentoring programme in which eight female employees are being mentored (along with two males)

RPS gender pay gap 2019

  Males Females % difference April 2019* % difference April 2018*
Mean hourly rate 29.04 23.49 19.1 14.8
Median hourly rate 25.27 21.96 13.1 0.5
Mean bonus pay within 12 month period 7096.33 3482.90 50.9 35.0
Median bonus pay within 12 month period 3750 2500 33.3 0
Proportion of employees in each pay quartile

Upper quartile 53.6%
Upper middle quartile 36.4%
63.6% -0.8 4.8
Lower middle quartile 21.8% 78.2% 13.8 4.2
Lower quartile 30.4% 69.6% 5.2 12.3

*Mean pay rate is the average of all salaries added together and divided by the total number of employees of that gender. Median pay rate is the middle salary in a range of individual salaries. Government measures use the median.

% difference for pay quartiles shows the difference from the expected percentage of employees in that quartile, based on 36% male and 64% female employees in the whole RPS workforce on the snapshot date of 5 April 2019.

The RPS median pay gap at April 2019 is 13.1% and therefore below the UK average. The UK average difference of median hourly rates is currently 17.9%.1

Our results for 2019 show an increased gender pay gap at both the median and the mean. While this is disappointing, as equality is part of our agenda more than ever before, it is important to understand what the results are telling us.

The difference between 2018 and 2019 is partly due to the number of senior and highly paid female employees who left RPS in 2018 and were not replaced, or replaced only at an interim level. We also appointed four new directors last year; three men and one woman This year we’ve appointed one woman to a director role.

We employ 64% women and 36% men at RPS. Ideally, we would expect to see men and women represented in about these proportions at all pay levels, but in common with many organisations we have a significant imbalance in the highest pay quartile. This gap has increased slightly between 2018 and 2019, however we have seen a positive shift at the lower pay levels, with more women moving to the lower middle pay quartile. 

Looking at full-time and part-time pay separately, the RPS full-time gender pay gap is 15.2%. Our part-time gender pay gap is 5.4%. 

Women working part-time at RPS have a salary advantage over full-time, with no significant difference for men. The median rate of pay for part-time women (£23.97) is almost 12% higher than their full-time median (£21.43). This shows that RPS’s commitment to flexible working opportunities for women and men includes senior level roles.

Action Plan

The RPS Executive team has committed to actions including:

  • Continue roll-out of unconscious bias training for all directors and recruiting managers
  • We’ve implemented a new performance bonus process to encourage fair distribution of bonuses
  • We’ve increased our support for working parents by increasing Paternity pay to match our Maternity pay levels
  • We’ve engaged with our employees and our ID Group colleagues through workshops and presentations to explain our gender pay results, encouraging debate and feedback about how we can address this
  • Following employee feedback, we’re being more transparent about our grade and pay ranges and will publish these on Yammer.
  • As part of our 2020 pay review, we’ll focus on understanding the roles that are making the key differences in our gender pay data so we can take action where needed
  • We’ll continue to work with our ID group to review our employee policies and processes to ensure they are inclusive and fair

As part of our aim to be a forward thinking, diverse and fair organisation we will continue to monitor and report on gender pay on an annual basis.

1 Last update from ONS 25 October 2018