I am pleased to publish our second Gender Pay Gap Report, an annual report of gender equality information, which forms part of our commitment to become a more diverse organisation through open reporting.
We have a legal requirement under the Equality Act 2010 to conduct an annual audit. It's a snapshot of the pay gap between what men and women earn in Wiltshire Police, as at 31 March 2018.
The Report shows the percentage difference between mean (average) and median (mid-point) hourly earnings of men and women in the workplace. This is a different concept to equal pay - it is unlawful to pay people unequally because they are a man or a woman. Men and women are paid equally at every grade in the Force. However if one gender dominates higher pay graded roles, this results in a gender pay gap.
Traditionally policing was a very male dominated profession. We've come a long way in recent times and now employ equal numbers of men and women in staff and officer roles - 1,071 men and 1,070 women as at 31 March 2018. However, we still have some way to go, particularly around female career progression into more senior roles.
In our staff roles, women outweigh men by a ratio of 62:38 (702 women/433 men). By contrast, our officer numbers show a 37:63 ratio in favour of men (368 women/638 men). This is a similar pattern to last year. It accounts for the difference in the mean and median pay for male and female officers and staff. In other words, while across the organisation there is an even balance of men and women, there are more male police officers and civilian staff in senior positions.
So what are we doing about it? Initiatives in the last 12 months include:
· In April 2018 I set up a new Executive Leadership Team, with a 50:50 split of officers and staff including two women making a huge contribution to the Force at a senior level
· Deputy Chief Constable Paul Mills leads our diversity work at a strategic level to provide senior focus and delivery in line with the NPCC Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Strategy
· We've signed up to the international HeForShe movement which publicly commits us to achieving gender equality.
· Superintendent Deb Smith was promoted to Temporary Assistant Chief Constable, setting a great role model for women across the Force.
· A new women's network called Connect has been created to provide a grassroots forum for female recruitment, training and progression and holding the leadership team to account.
· We hosted the first 'Women in Leadership' regional policing conference, an inspiring event supporting women to be leaders now and in the future.
We have much more to do to see more female colleagues at senior levels. I am not complacent and have set a personal pledge to fully address the gender balance within our organisation.
Kier Pritchard, Chief Constable