CIPD publishes gender pay audit and action plan

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development has published its gender pay audit, showing a fall in its median pay gap, but a rise in its mean gap.


The medium hourly pay gap between men and women at the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development has continued to fall, although its mean hourly pay gap has risen due to changes at the top, according to its 2019 gender pay gap report.

The institute, which represents HR workers, said the medium hourly pay gap – the figure obtained when all staff are ranked by their hourly pay and a comparison is done between what the woman in the middle of the female pay range received with what the man in the middle of the male pay range received – has continued its downward trend and is now at 6.8% compared with 10.8%  in 2017.

The mean hourly pay gap – the figure obtained when all the hourly pay rates that women earn are added together, divided by the number of women in the workforce and that figure is compared with the same calculation for men – has, however, risen in the last year to 17.7% compared to 14.9% in 2017.

This, it says, is in large part due to changes in people at the top, including two senior female managers leaving and one being replaced by a man and the other not being replaced when the audit was done. Also, the CIPD’s chief executive is male.

The CIPD, which is dominated by women [227 compared to 98 men] says it has been doing a range of things to bring down its medium pay gap, including checking for bias in recruitment procedures, including the wording of job adverts, running bias training sessions, rolling out a web-based platform so people can work remotely, exploring options that will enable more parents to share parental leave, appointing a talent acquisition manager part of whose role is to work with line managers to make recruitment processes fairer and more open and developing better pay analysis tools.

Since 2017, it has also eliminated its bonus pay gap by removing annual bonuses linked to individual and organisational performance. In instances of exceptional performance line managers are still able to offer small, one-off payments to staff. This year only women got this type of bonus, leaving a mean bonus pay gap of 0%.

This contrasts with the CIPD’s 2018 report, based on a July 2017 salary review, which showed the median and mean bonus gaps were 30% and 3% respectively.

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CEO Peter Cheese says: “We recognise that reducing our gender pay gap is an action that requires a concerted effort at every level of our business and at every point in the employee lifecycle, from recruitment
through to progression opportunities. We have made investments in our staff through line manager training and by creating a new role in our People Team to enhance inclusive thinking and practices at the point of recruitment. I’m also pleased to see that we are bringing better gender balance to our upper and upper-middle quartiles, which have both shown an increase in the number of women at this more senior level.

“But we know as well that it’s not just processes and practices, but culture that plays a huge part in making our organisation a good place to work. By continuing to have a culture of trust, openness and flexibility, we’re creating an environment where people can bring their best selves to work while balancing work, home and personal commitments.”

The CIPD figures come as Labour’s John McDonnell unveiled its plans for business which include making it compulsory for larger companies to publish action plans on how they tackle the gender and ethnicity pay gaps.  The Liberal Democrats have also announced proposals on tackling the gender pay gap, pledging to expand measures to tackle the gender pay gap by obliging bigger companies to publish data on employment levels by gender, as well as for BAME and LGBT staff.

John McDonnell also announced plans for company boards to include workers and elected members, giving them greater influence over pay structure. It says public sector chief executives would not be allowed to earn more than 20 times someone on the living wage, meaning a maximum salary of about £350,000.  Other proposals outlined include plans for large companies that don’t take adequate steps to tackle climate change to be delisted from the FTSE 100, for workers to become shareholders in their companies and for the introduction of an Excessive Pay Levy on companies over disparities in pay between senior executives and other employees.

The election has also seen pledges on the minimum wage. Labour has pledged to introduce a £10 minimum wage in 2020 for all employees aged 16 and over while the Conservatives say they plan to lower the age limit for the National Living Wage – aimed at those aged over 25 – to 21 and pay around £10.39 per hour by 2024 (or £9.59 in 2020 prices).

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