Lancashire Constabulary is committed to creating an organisation that is reflective of the communities we serve and understands that reducing the gender pay gap is a key enabler for achieving this.
What is the gender pay gap?
The gender pay gap shows the difference in the average hourly pay of all men and women across an organisation. The gender pay gap is not the same as equal pay, which would involve comparing the salary of a man and woman undertaking the same role or work of an equal value.
Figures as of 31st March 2018. The mean gender pay gap is the difference in the ‘average’ hourly pay for women within an organisation compared to that of men. The median gender pay gap is the difference between the ‘middle’ hourly pay rate for women compared to the ‘middle’ hourly pay rate for men if you listed them separately from lowest to highest pay
In 2017/18, 74 people received a bonus payment representing less than 1.3% of the organisation. A bonus is paid in recognition of performing work of an outstandingly demanding, unpleasant or important nature.
Understanding our gender pay gap
As at the snapshot date of 31 March 2018, our mean gender pay gap was 16.1% (an increase from 15.4% the previous year) and our median gender pay gap was 31.3% (an increase from 24.7% the previous year).
The police workforce contains two main groups – police staff and police officers – that have very different employment terms and conditions. Police officer roles typically have higher salaries and 67% of these are occupied by men. Conversely, police staff roles typically have lower salaries and women occupy 67% of these.
The impact of this can be seen when we look at the gender pay gap separately within the police officer and police staff groups. The median gender pay gap for police officers has reduced between 2017 and 2018 from 1.9% to 1.5%, while the total percentage of female police officers has gone up from 31% to 33%. For police staff, in roles such as Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) where there is close to even male/female ratio, there remains no gender pay gap. Within the group of Police Control Room Operators (PCROs), women make up 75% of the workforce and earn 15.6% higher than men.
While the organisation has made a number of senior female appointments during the reporting period, this has been offset by the larger group of female police staff being appointed into lower paid roles. This is what has caused the overall gender pay gap to increase.
From further analysis, we believe that some of the factors that are also contributing to this include:
- There continues to be a lower representation of women in higher paid roles and ranks, although we are pleased to see an increase in the proportion of female officers in the ranks of Chief Inspector and above.
- Proportionately more women occupy police staff grades in the lower and lower middle quartiles.
- More women have a ‘flexible working arrangement’ which in turn can reduce or cease allowances that they would otherwise be entitled to (e.g. unsocial hours allowance).
- Women have been more likely to purchase additional annual leave, which reduces their hourly pay.
How are we addressing the pay gap?
Our gender pay gap demonstrates that we need to focus on the lack of equal gender representation in different ranks and roles within our police force. It also highlights that we need to identify and overcome any barriers that may prevent women from progressing throughout their careers. Our strategy to reduce the gap will continue to focus on the following key areas:
Recruitment and Progression
Although we typically recruit around 40% female police officers, female representation reduces at the higher ranks so we will continue to deliver positive action, coaching and mentoring to support prospective female applicants and encourage more women to seek out these promotion opportunities.
We have appointed 'inclusion leads' in departments across the Constabulary who will help deliver initiatives to increase representation in their areas.
Inspire, the Constabulary’s women’s network, plays a key role in this and continues to support female staff and their families, running a number of successful initiatives in 2018. These included an external mentoring programme for female officers and staff, supporting them for promotion boards; organising conferences around mental health and wellbeing, career development and coaching skills; implementing best practice from successful gender initiatives in other forces and organisations, including the international and celebrated ‘HeForShe campaign’; and reaching out with other staff networks to new and expectant parents, with practical support and advice.
Staff involved in recruitment and promotion processes receive ‘unconscious bias’ training. This training aims to encourage staff to consider the impact that their unconscious biases towards people who are similar to them could have on achieving an inclusive and diverse workforce.
We will continue to provide management information and analysis to the Valuing Difference and Inclusion Board to help decide on appropriate interventions.
Lancashire Constabulary's Commitment
There are significant cultural and societal changes needed to address some of the causes of the gender pay gap and this will take time. However, we remain committed to this work and making sure the Constabulary is inclusive, diverse and supportive of everyone so they can achieve their full potential and represent and serve our local communities well.