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EqualPayPortalBlogSpot is run by equal pay expert Sheila Wild

16 September 2016

Bank of England Gender Pay Gap Report

On Tuesday of this week the Bank of England released its latest figures on the gender pay gap.


According to the Bank’s own release the pay gap based on mean full-time equivalent salaries was 18.7 per cent, down from 19.7 per cent at March 2015.  The equivalent figure for median salary was 26.4 per cent, down from 27.6 per cent.
The Bank says that the main reason for the gap is the lower proportion of females in senior roles relative to males.  The Bank has 44 per cent female employees and 60 per cent of these are in the lowest two quartiles (55 per cent of employees in the first quartile and 49 per cent in the second quartile are female). In the highest paid quartile, only 32 per cent of staff are female.  To address this imbalance the organisation has two Bank-wide targets for gender. The first is for 35 per cent of its senior management staff to be female by 2020 (from the current 28 per cent). The second is to have an equal split of men and women in the organisation at all levels below senior management by 2020 (from the current 44 per cent).
The Bank is currently undertaking work to improve data capture on role types, to ensure it has the best data available to be able to monitor, and develop strategies to continue to address pay differentials. The Bank also notes that it is important to view its gender pay gap in the wider context of education and employment in the UK and that for the majority of roles it recruits for, the pool of candidates is predominantly male. Only 27 per cent of UK economics students are female. 

The Bank is committed to publishing its gender pay data as part of the forthcoming reporting requirements, and in a taste of what may to come for organisations reporting on their gender pay gaps, most commentators chose both to report on the wider of the two measures (the median) and to point out that the gap is currently higher than the national average, as measured by the Office for National Statistics (19.2 per cent in the private sector and 11.4 per cent  in the public sector ). These comments, as well as emphasising the worst case, ignore the wider – and very relevant – information about the context, as provided by the Bank.
The Bank’s figures also show an improvement in the number of women in senior roles. In 2015, there was a 25 per cent female representation at senior levels, but this has risen by 3 per cent in 2016, suggesting that the Bank has a good chance of meetings its targets.

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