To ensure that every member of our team is paid fairly, we use a job evaluation process to ensure we have a robust way of assessing the size of roles, accurate job description information and a fair pay structure. We use an independent external third party company, Korn Ferry Hay Group, to ensure this process is robust. Korn Ferry Hay Group 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 Korn Ferry Hay Group trained evaluation panel. This process ensures that if each gender was represented equally by job level our gender pay gap would be nil.*
*In 2017 there were small differences in pay determined by length of service (not gender), but the zoo recognised that this meant a few employees would be paid differently to others on the same pay grade. In January 2018 the zoo took steps to rectify this and equalised salaries within individual pay bands. All employees within the same pay grade are now paid the same salary, regardless of gender. From January 2018, 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 females and males 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 males are statistically more likely to be in senior roles or that females are statistically more likely to be in part-time roles.
At Chester Zoo, the average hourly gender pay gap across the organisation is 9% by median and 12% by mean, in favour of males, based on April 2017 payroll figures. While this gap is well below the national average, we have identified that it is predominantly due to a significantly higher proportion of female employees at the lower end of our pay scales. 63% of our team at grade 3 level (our lowest pay grade) 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 2017, we paid a rate of £7.60/hour to all our grade 3 staff regardless of gender (or age): a rate which is above the National Living Wage. As of January 2018, this rate was increased to £7.90/hour (regardless of gender or age).
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 females and males. Higher up the pay scale, in quartile 3, there was a 0% median and 1% mean pay gap, in favour of males, 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 2% by median and 5% by mean average, in favour of males, due again to the slightly higher proportion of males in higher paid roles. More recently, as of March 2018, four out of nine directorate roles (the most senior positions in the zoo) were held by females, 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 2017, quartile 1 comprises 63% female staff compared to 37% male staff, while quartile 2 comprises 62% female staff and 38% male staff. Quartile 3 is 59% female and 41% male, while quartile 4 is 56% male and 44% female.
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 contracted hours, 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 a negligible 1% gender pay gap by mean average in favour of males, 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, while Chester Zoo’s gender pay gap is significantly lower than the UK average, we remain passionately committed to considering initiatives that will continue to help us redress any gender imbalance within our own organisation. 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.
Director of HR