Since 2017, British employers with more than 250 staff have been required by law to publish figures annually, setting out any differences in pay and bonuses between its male and female employees.
We welcomed the introduction of the gender pay gap reporting and what it set out to achieve. It prompted us, along with many other business’, to identify, understand and engage with our gender pay gap. We do not see this as a once a year exercise, instead we are committed to an ongoing cultural change programme within Bidwells. We choose to be transparent with our employees and distributed the results of the 2017 pay gap alongside our commentary to facilitate an ongoing conversation with our people.
Our analysis for 2018 has shown a gender pay gap for both ordinary pay and bonus pay. We believe that this is largely a result of our workforce demographics, with the majority of senior management roles currently held by men and the majority of support roles by women. We are pleased however, to see mobility in this area, with 52% of middle-management level employees being female in 2018, compared to 43% in 2017 (this has further increased to 56% in 2019). We believe that this is also reflected in our pay quartiles; as while the top two quartiles continue to be dominated by men (57.5% on average), this is an improvement from 2017 where the top two quartiles were on average 62.5% male.
"A key contributor to our pay gap is the historic lack of women within the property consultancy sector. In 2018 RTPI and RICS (the professional bodies most of our employees belong to) published statistics showing that respectively 38% and 14% of their members were women. At Bidwells 47% of our RTPI and 27% of our RICS members are women, but there is still more we are doing to improve those figures."
Managing Director, Catherine Spitzer.
split of men and women
- Men are paid on average 25% more per hour than women.
- Median hourly pay for men is 35% higher than for women
Proportion of male/female employees in each Quartile hourly pay band (Q1 represents the highest paid, Q4 the lowest)
- The mean bonus payment for men was 65% more than for women
- The median bonus payment was 42% more for men than women
- 100% of eligible employees received some form of bonus payment
So what are we doing about it?
We are committed to being transparent about our gender pay gap and because we value all our employees we are fully committed to identifying the root causes of this pay gap and finding solutions:
Investing in our future
While we are proud of our graduate programme and the high volume of female candidates it produces; we also recognise the importance of thinking differently. As such our people have been busy visiting schools and colleges across the country that don’t traditionally produce high numbers of property consultants and introducing their students to the prospect of a career at Bidwells. We are also committed to increasing the number of degree apprentices we hire and changing the perception of apprentices within the business. We believe that these grass roots initiatives mean we are opening the doors to the next generation of property consultants and creating a more diverse candidate pool. Bidwells are also embracing the Women in Property networking group, and our resourcing team regularly attend their events.
Recent changes to Maternity and Paternity Leave policy
We also wanted to address the impact that maternity leave has on the gender pay gap, particularly at senior levels. After listening to feedback from our employees via Thymometrics, we are pleased to have significantly enhanced our maternity pay offering from 2019. We are also undertaking a thorough review of our maternity procedure to ensure women feel supported and empowered at work before, during and after maternity leave. This includes introducing a working mums network within Bidwells for women returning from leave. However, until childcare is no longer considered disproportionately a women’s responsibility, the gender pay gap will persist. For this reason, we have also enhanced our Shared Parental Leave offering, which we hope will encourage more male employees to take additional leave following the birth of their children. As well as enabling Fathers to take a more hands on role in childcare from an early age.
“Research has shown that an effective shared parental leave policy is key to closing the gender pay gap by supporting women who wish to return to work sooner. Although it is too soon to see the impact of this we are confident that this long term investment in our future will address this issue”.
Senior Partner, Patrick McMahon
A good work/life balance through Agile Working
We have also continued to promote agile and flexible working and to educate our employees and managers on its benefits. We are encouraging our employees to think critically about when, where and how they work. Although we are still seeing more women than men request flexible working patterns, we hope that these efforts will empower all our employees to achieve a good work life balance.
“We’re very pleased that we’re already seeing positive movement in some areas. We know that some of our initiatives will not show immediate results, however we have confidence that our grassroots approach will pay off in the future. In the meantime, we will continue to listen to our employees’ feedback and be open to further suggestions to improve.”
Managing Director, Catherine Spitzer.