Message from Jamie Christon, Chief Operating Officer
Across the UK there are a range of factors which contribute towards the existence of a gender pay gap, such as the fact that men are statistically more likely to be in senior roles or that women are statistically more likely to be in part-time roles.
Here at Chester Zoo, all employees within the same pay grade are paid the same salary, regardless of gender or age.
Identical bonus payments are awarded to all permanent staff, pro-rata, based on the success of the zoo each year, regardless of gender or job level.
We are proud of the contribution of all our team regardless of gender and remain committed to our initiatives that help address some of the societal factors influencing the make-up of our organisation. We believe this will help us continue to prevent extinction by maximising the potential of our wonderfully passionate, expert and talented workforce.
How our pay is measured
In total, Chester Zoo employs 773 members of staff, based on April 2018 payroll figures. Job roles are independently assessed and graded from grade 3 to grade 14 to ensure equal pay for equivalent jobs.
To ensure that every member of our team is paid appropriately, we use a job evaluation process to ensure we have a fair way of assessing the size of roles, accurate job description information and a fair pay structure. We use an independent external third party company, Kornferry, to ensure this process is robust. Kornferry are regarded as the world’s leading provider of job evaluation methodology. Job information is collected in the form of a job description and evaluated by a trained evaluation panel. This process ensures that if each gender was represented equally by job level our pay gap would be 0%.
What is the gender pay gap?
A gender pay gap is a measure of the difference in the average pay of men and women across an organisation as a whole. There are a range of factors which contribute towards the existence of a gender pay gap in our wider UK society, such as the fact that men are statistically more likely to be in senior roles or that women are statistically more likely to be in part-time roles.
At Chester Zoo, we are proud of the fact that women occupy roughly as many of our senior positons as men; that’s 49% of our highest paid jobs. The average hourly gender pay gap across the whole organisation is 11% by mean and 20% by median, in favour of men, based on April 2018 payroll figures. We have identified that it is predominantly due to a significantly higher proportion of female employees at the lower end of our pay scales. 65% of our team at grade 3 level (our lowest pay grade, for seasonal employees) are female – a gender ratio which is almost exactly proportionate to the gender ratio of applicants for these roles. We are committed to a fair pay policy that supports our team members at the lower end of our pay scale. At the date of compiling these figures in April 2018, we paid a rate of £7.90/hour to all our grade 3 staff regardless of gender (or age): a rate which was above the National Living Wage.
Pay – hourly rate
Difference between females and males – April 2018
Equal pay for equivalent roles
All Chester Zoo employees within the same pay grade are paid the same salary, regardless of gender (or age). Average earnings for the zoo’s lowest paid 50% of employees (quartile 1 and 2) were exactly equal for both men and women. Higher up the pay scale, in quartile 3, there was a 0% median and 0.5% mean pay gap, in favour of men, based on a very slightly higher proportion of males in roles of a higher pay grade within that quartile. Similarly in quartile 4, the top 25% of earners at the zoo, there was a gender pay gap of 0% by median and 9% by mean average, in favour of men, due again to the slightly higher proportion of males in higher paid roles. As of March 2019, four out of nine directorate roles (the most senior positions in the zoo) were held by women, so we are aware that for us, individual changes in this relatively small senior leadership team can sway the balance of the gender pay gap figures.
Overall, as of April 2018, quartile 1 comprises 65% women compared to 35% men, while quartile 2 comprises 61% women and 39% men. Quartile 3 is 60% female and 40% male, while quartile 4 is 51% men and 49% women.
We report a 0% gender pay gap in bonus pay by median. Bonuses are paid to all permanent staff based on the success of the zoo each year. Payments are equal for all staff regardless of pay grade (and gender), and are proportional to hours worked, meaning that part time staff receive a proportionately lower bonus to full time staff. As a result of a higher percentage of our part time staff being female, there is therefore an 8% gender pay gap by mean average in favour of men, although the median remains at 0%.
Seasonal staff do not receive a bonus. We receive a higher number of applications for seasonal roles from females and therefore a higher percentage of our seasonal workforce is female. Therefore 53% of females employed by the zoo received a bonus; compared to 64% of males. Overall, 52% of all bonuses paid were awarded to females, with 48% to males.
In summary, we remain committed to supporting initiatives that help us redress any gender imbalance caused by societal factors. We offer a flexible working policy, welcome applications for part-time working and publicly celebrate the achievements of the world-leading experts of any gender in our teams, as an example of what we can achieve. We are proud of the work we have done so far to ensure this gender pay gap is kept to a minimum within our own pay structure and we will continue to work with external specialists who ensure independent, robust assessment of job levels within our equal pay structure.