Gender pay gap 2018

As a leading social investor and champion of social investment, this is important to align with our values of transparency and gender equality.


Following on from the legislation introduced by the UK Government on gender pay gap reporting in 2017, Big Society Capital decided that we would voluntarily disclose our gender pay gap data, even though our employee numbers do not reach the legal reporting threshold of 250 employees. As a leading social investor and champion of social investment, this is important to align with our values of transparency and gender equality. 

The gender pay gap

The gender pay gap is the average difference between the remuneration for men and women, but it does not mean that women are paid less than men in the same roles. As a leading social investor and champion for our industry Big Society Capital voluntarily disclose its gender pay gap data. We want to be transparent and open about our approach to how we pay our employees and where we can, use and share data to test our approach, recognise where we can do better and act on it.

Our gender pay data and what it means

Our results show that while women and men are paid at the same levels for equivalent roles, the average mean hourly pay for all female employees is 28% lower than for male employees. Our pay gap has risen from 20% to 28% since 2018.

As a small business with 55 employees, the departure of one senior female employee or the arrival of a number of junior female employees can lead to a big increase in our gender pay gap and in these respects the distribution of our data and the pay gap itself can be materially skewed. The adverse movement in the pay gap this year has been largely driven by a greater proportion of female new joiners in the year than male joiners, particularly in more junior roles.

However, we know that our business and our people are more than numbers and data so we are focusing on what changes we can make to not only reduce our gender pay gap but also tackle some of these underlying issues; specifically that there are less women in more senior roles and more women in more junior roles.

What have Big Society Capital been doing since our last report?

We know that our gender pay gap does not result from differences in pay levels for equivalent roles and we have a robust pay and grading structure which is gender neutral. We are committed to ensuring compliance with equal pay legislation.

We are proud that as at January 2019 women make up 66% of our overall workforce, up from 55% in 2018. There is also good evidence of progression for female staff; 58% of staff across the organisation who were promoted or awarded above-inflation pay increases in 2018 were women and 76% in 2019. We continue to work hard to ensure that Big Society Capital is a great place to work with equal pay and reward for all our employees.

When hiring, we seek a diversity of backgrounds across business, government, the social and financial sectors and have developed a structured training and support programme for everyone involved in recruitment and selection.

We encourage flexibility in our working practices and know that our teams work better when they are supported to work in ways that suit them as individuals, regardless of gender. We need an agile workforce not only to supporting a business and industry that is constantly changing but to adapt to a changing world of work. 

Diverse perspectives and backgrounds make us more effective as an organisation and we have already taken a number of proactive steps to support this. These include, using and training on best practice in recruitment and selection both internally and with our intermediaries, using an online recruitment portal to remove unconscious bias, facilitating diversity training for new joiners to Big Society Capital and the industry and working with our employees to ensure our behaviours reflect our inclusive culture.

What’s next for Big Society Capital?

We need to both increase the proportion of men in more junior roles and increase the proportion of females in more senior roles.  There is no quick fix and we know it will take time but here are some of the practical steps we are taking to achieve this goal and ultimately reduce our gender pay gap;

  • Use our People Strategy to reinforce this message and ensure of policies and processes are fit for purpose.
  • We do not offer salaries based on previous earnings but against our objective and transparent job categorisation and salary banding.
  • We encourage shared parental leave by men and ensure our paternity leave is competitive.
  • We will set realistic targets and ensure we focus on progress. For example, are more women coming in for job interviews for more senior roles.
  • We use our performance and development review process to understand everyone’s aspirations and work hard to encourage women and men to seek promotion. We will train managers to better support their teams to achieve this.
  • Through our Diversity and Inclusion Strategy, we lead and support a number of initiatives across the wider social investment sector and have introduced diversity training in the Induction programme we run for Big Society Capital joiners and Intermediaries twice a year.
  • We have completed a job grading and salary banding exercise which was rolled out across the organisation in 2018/19. This was designed using specialist external support and intended to provide a clear framework for progression and greater transparency in the setting of remuneration.
  • We work hard to engage with our employees and obtain feedback through a comprehensive Staff Survey on aspects of Big Society Capital’s culture that may enhance or undermine inclusion.

We know we can and must do more and need to work hard to ensure that there are no boundaries or restrictions preventing people from reaching their full potential and continue to put in measures that will actively support the development of all our employees.

The data

All data is based on a snapshot of pay data as at 1 January 2019.

There is no gender pay gap in respect of bonus payments as Big Society Capital’s policy is not to pay bonuses to employees.

Proportions of staff in each pay quartile bracket