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Gender pay-gap at NCIs ‘a result of geography’

25 March 2022

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THE average pay gap between men and women working for National Church Institutions (NCIs) has decreased by one per cent, but the median gap between salaries is still 28 per cent, new figures show.

This means that for every £1 earned by a man, a woman employed by the NCIs earns just 72 pence.

When staff from the Church’s Investment Division — employed by the Church Commissioners — are included in the data, the gap between men and women’s pay increases to 30 per cent.

The figures were submitted to the Government as part of its gender pay-gap reporting, and covered 588 staff. Fifty-seven per cent of the current NCI workforce is female.

A spokesperson for Church House said that the gap in median pay was partly because of the fact that women made up 70 per cent of staff based outside London, and were therefore on lower salaries, which did not include London weighting.

Male salaries were distorted also by the fact that contractors on some projects providing “specialist technical support” came under pay-gap reporting, although they were not employed by the Church, it was suggested.

The Revd Liz Clutterbuck, Vicar of Emmanuel Church, in Holloway, north London, has a background in quantitative research, and highlighted the NCI gender pay gap on International Women’s Day in a post on Twitter.

She said that, although “the one per cent improvement goes in the right direction, in 2018 the median difference was only 24 per cent”, and that the Church should set out its strategies to close the gap. “I’m aware that the two senior posts being made redundant are occupied by women. Is any consideration given to diversity in the restructuring process? It feels as though progress towards equality is one step forward, two steps back.”

The NCIs announced a limited restructuring last week, with the loss of two senior posts: the Head of Life Events, held by Canon Sandra Miller, and the National Going for Growth (Children’s and Youth) Adviser, the Revd Mary Hawes (News, 18 March).

Church House said that the impact on diversity was considered when restructuring proposals were assessed, but that it could not comment on individual cases.

A breakdown of the pay gap at the NCIs shows that women occupy 39 per cent of the highest paid jobs and 73 per cent of the lowest paid jobs.

The report submitted to the Government acknowledged that NCIs needed to move faster over equal pay.

The NCIs’ Director of People, Christine Hewitt-Dyer, in her introduction to the figures, said: “The one per cent fall in the gender pay figures for NCIs represents a small step in the right direction — further work is required and planned to see a continued reduction in the gap.

“We have begun to see female representation improving at senior levels amongst new recruits. Fifty-six per cent of our new joiners within the past year at the upper quartile level were female. Overall earnings for females increased at a faster pace than for males during the reporting period.”

Church House also voluntarily submitted figures for pay for staff in its Investment Division, although it was not required to do so under the Government’s gender-pay reporting rules. Staff in the division are eligible for a bonus, dependent on performance. The figures show that, while eight per cent of men earned a bonus, averaging £35,000, just four per cent of women achieved one, and the figure was lower: an average of £29,500.

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