Ensuring that we reward staff fairly, based on their contribution to our community and regardless of their protected characteristics, is at the core of our values. We have been taking long-term action to improve pay equality at Essex and the Government’s requirement for UK employers to publish their gender pay gap data gives us a chance to assess how we’re performing.
We continue to make progress in closing our gender pay gap and pleased that our equal pay for work of equal value is positive and there is no evidence that overall female staff are paid less than their male colleagues for work of the same value with all gaps being below 5%. Over the last 10 years our mean gender pay gap, which measures the difference between men’s and women’s average earnings across an organisation, has fallen by 9.7% from 24.8% in 2013 to 15.1% in 2023. We have strategies in place including the work we have done at professional level to eradicate the pay gap and this year a slight increase in the proportion of women at grades 9-11 contributed to the decreasing of the mean gender pay gap. The median pay gap has however remained the same for the last three years at 18.6%. Whilst we have good strategies in place to reduce the pay gap, we recognise more needs to be done if we are to make step changes in this area.
The main reason for our pay gap is an under representation of women in the higher grades (9-1) and an over representation of women in the lower grades (1-4). We have several strategies and measures in place to address this and we are also undertaking further work and targeted action to help us better understand our gender pay gap and what further we can do to continue to address this vital issue. Our 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023 gender pay gap reports outline our strategy to further close the gender pay gap.