What is the gender pay gap?

We are required by law to publish our gender pay gap figures each year. This requirement comes from the Equality Act 2010.

The gender pay gap is a measure of difference between men and women’s average earnings across an organisation. It is expressed as a percentage of men’s earnings. These figures take into consideration both part-time and full-time employees.

Having a gender pay gap does not mean we have inequalities of pay between males and females who are doing the same work.

Gender pay gap reporting helps us assess the proportion of males and females at all levels of seniority within an organisation.

The median pay gap figure is the one most often referenced in gender pay gap reporting as this is the one most representative of the experience of the average worker within an organisation. It is not affected by extreme values, such as the changes in earnings of small numbers of very high earners.

The mean pay gap figure, along with the quartile information, can be more useful to show pay gaps occurring because of the spread of representation of males and females. These figures can help us focus our efforts to close the gaps especially when we separate staff and officer payments, as it can make it easier to see where we need to focus our efforts, for example, it shows that we need to increase the number of females in senior police officer roles.

Glossary of Terms

Gender pay gap

A comparison between mean and median hourly pay for all women and men within the force. Both full time and part time employees.

Median gender pay gap

This is the difference between the median (middle) value of hourly pay rates (when ordered from lowest to highest) for all men in an organisation, and the median value of hourly pay rates for all women, expressed as a percentage of the median hourly rate for men.

Mean gender pay gap

This is the difference between the mean (average) hourly pay rate for all men in an organisation, and the mean hourly pay rate for all women, expressed as a percentage of the mean hourly rate for men.

Median bonus pay gap

This is the difference between the median (middle) values of bonuses (when ordered from lowest to highest) for all men in an organisation and the median value of bonuses for all women, as a percentage of the median bonus for men.

Mean bonus pay gap

This is the difference between the mean (average) value of bonuses for all men in an organisation and the mean value of bonuses for all women, expressed as a percentage of the mean bonus for men.

25% (quartile) pay distribution

The proportion of men and women in each 25% (quartile) of an employer’s pay structure.

Bonuses

This refers to specific payments applied to roles due to skill set.  Particularly for officers the figures reflect that we need to increase the number of females in specialist roles, particularly firearms.

Our results

The report shows the overall gender pay gap figures of the following:

  • Gender pay gap (mean and median)
  • Gender bonus gap (mean and median)
  • Proportion of males and females in each quartile of the organisation’s pay structure
  • Proportion of males and females receiving bonuses.

The figures are based on a data snapshot taken at 31 March 2020. Last year’s report is accessible here.

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A view to the future

We’re realistic that it will take time to reduce the increased gender pay gap. 

Looking at our staff and officer figures separately helps us to understand better where changes should help us to reduce our gender pay gap, and allows us to take more specific actions based on what this information tells us. 

Our gender mix at all levels for police staff remain more balanced than for officers.  For officers we need to recruit more female officers and increase the proportion of females in senior officer roles and in some specialist roles, such as, firearms.  Various improvements have been made during the last year and continue to be made to understand each of these areas better and make improvements.

We have used and continue to use the toolkits developed by the Government Equalities Commission, along with any insights and shared learning from other police forces, to help us make improvements and during the last 18 months have made the following improvements:

  • Introduction of a detective degree entry route which along with developments in other officer entry routes has helped widen appeal and so the diversity of applicants joining as police officers.
  • Introduction of a future focus succession planning framework to build on regular performance conversations individuals and line managers have.  Development plans are put in place to support development of individuals in their career aspirations, whether that is lateral development, to gain additional specialist skills to become specialist in role or to prepare an individual for promotion.
  • Implemented changes to the officer promotion scheme, which includes use of future focus, in response to feedback including possible barriers to representation.
  • Delivered unconscious and conscious inclusion sessions with external speakers providing greater understanding of why unconscious bias happens and how we can limit it and how conscious inclusion can be incorporated into our roles to create a more inclusive working environment.
  • Built on our identity mentoring scheme to increase the numbers of parenting mentors to support officers and staff with their careers.
  • More on-line training has been made available to improve accessibility and will remain a feature after current restrictions due to Covid-19.

Whilst we are not complacent, the reduction in our overall median gender pay figure indicates that some of our activity to improve gender pay gap is having a positive impact.

Inclusion is of high importance to Sussex Police.  All equalities information, including for gender, is monitored on a regular basis through various meetings at which improvement actions are agreed and reviewed.