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Gender Agenda

NPCC launched a Police Chiefs’ Blog on the Gender Pay Gap on behalf of Chief Constable Dee Collins


The blog is available from this link but is copied below:-



CC Dee Collins – Closing the police gender pay gap is going to be hard work but it’s worth it

I’ve spent the last three decades in policing – as a uniformed officer, as a roads policing specialist, Cleveland’s first female armed response officer, and now as a chief constable. In that time I’ve seen a huge cultural shift in attitudes towards women in policing, from a culture where women were a tiny minority and were issued with a force handbag on joining, given a stockings allowance and told we were only allowed to wear trousers on nights, to one where women make up an integral and ever growing parof the service.

By the end of this month every public body in England and Wales that employs more than 250 people is expected to publish their pay gap between what men and women earn. This includes police forces in England in Wales. It’s an opportunity for us to take stock of how far we’ve come and focus our minds to how far we still have to go and how we get there.

What I’ve seen so far shows a policing gender pay gap of 8 per cent in some areas to 15 per cent in others – compared to a national average of 18 per cent. When it comes to the top paid in society, men outstrip women by 4 to 1 – and in policing there are far fewer women in senior policing positions and far more in the lowest paid roles.

This issue isn’t one about equal pay for equal work – that was made illegal in the 1970’s Equal Pay Act. Police officers have nationally agreed rates of pay based on their rank or grade – where gender is irrelevant. But there is potential for the same issues that affect other sectors to come into play in policing – the impact of unconscious bias and difference in the way women and men negotiate on our recruitment and promotion, and the way men and women balance their careers with having children, including the influence of their employer as they make those decisions.

Particular to policing is the way certain specialisms receive pay supplements – such as for armed policing or public order – and these areas are still heavily male dominated. Other roles also involve unsociable hours that conflict with family commitments and can limit women’s career progression.

There’s also a big difference in the gap between police officers and staff – partly because of the high proportion of officers that are menand a high proportion of staff that are women, and because, while officers’ terms and conditions are set nationally, staff conditions are set by their local force and can vary across the country.

From a service that has in the past been portrayed as male dominated and masculine, we’ve seen a sea change and today some the UK’s most high profile senior police officers are women, such as Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick, Director General of the National Crime Agency Lynne Owens and National Police Chiefs’ Council Chair Sara Thornton, with women now making up 30 per cent of senior police officers. But clearly we need to be enabling more women to fulfil their careers in policing.

Research shows that organisations with greater diversity perform better than those who do not, especially when this diversity is represented at all levels, including in the most senior positions. As a public service it’s particularly important for us to be representative.

There are no quick and easy fixes for society, and the same applies to us. We are on the right road but it is going to take a lot of hard work over a long period of time to reduce this gap.

We’re seeing positive steps, such as forces ensuring strong and visible female role models in senior positions; coaching and mentoring schemes; strong policies to deal with sexual harassment at work; more flexible working to help with work-life balance; reviewing exit interviews to identify and act on trends; encouraging more women to take on specialist roles like investigations or armed policing;weeding out unconscious bias in promotion and recruitment processes and reverse mentoring where male managers are mentored by junior female colleagues.

I’m confident that women joining policing now find a far more diverse and inclusive environment than I did, and that women joining in ten years time will find it better still, with even more women at every level. That diversity will not only make us a better service to work for, but will make us a better service to the public that we serve.

You can also follow the Twitter discussions:- http://www.npcc.police.uk/

25 Forces have published their GDG information. If you wish to view details from other Forces use this link:-


The Gender Pay Gap – What is it and what does it mean for policing?

First, let me address a misconception which is made less clear by some of the headlines on the subject. The gender pay gap is not the same as equal pay. It is unlawful to pay men and women unequally for the same jobs, similar jobs or work of equal value – it has been since the Equal Pay Act in 1970.

In policing and other public sector occupations, pay scales are generally open and transparent and positions are advertised with a set pay scale. Everyone knows before they apply for a position, role or rank what the pay for that position is, negating most if not all of the commentary about women not being tough enough at negotiating salary.

With the press coverage of how much Hollywood pays female actors or BBC male presenters having to take a pay cut, is it any wonder that many people in policing don’t think this applies to them?

This may be news to you, but it does apply to policing.

The Gender Pay Gap shows the difference in the average pay between all men and women in a workforce. There are a set of six calculations that every employer of more than 250 people must publish, regardless of whether they are public or private sector employers. They must be publicly available on the company’s website as well as being provided to the government for publication.

The Gender Pay Gap is an indicator of what problems might exist, and it should be used by organisations to investigate where there may be barriers to recruitment, progression or retention for women or men in the workplace. Because it is an indicator, it is important to understand that the same pay gap may indicate different barriers in different organisations.

It is not a quick fix and it is certainly not a target to be met, but it is a starting point to investigate what is happening in your own organisation, to ask pertinent questions, seek evidence of what works and drive meaningful activity that makes a real difference.

To use a policing analogy, think of it like an initial incident report you are being deployed to; it will tell you where to go, who to talk to and maybe even what the perceived problem is, but when you get there you still have to ask questions and make sure that what is reported is what is actually happening – sometimes all the information and indicators are correct; sometimes it turns out to be something very different; sometimes you deal with it in a prescribed or well established way; sometimes it will be better served by fresh ideas or a new approach.

Some examples of the changes or ideas elsewhere include incentivising greater sharing of parental leave for men and non child-bearing parents; varying traditional career pathways and timescales to allow women exposure to some roles at a different point in their career; highlighting the research on differences in readiness for promotion between the genders.

The Gender Agenda 3 published by BAWP in 2014 set out recommendations for policing, aimed at national, local and individual level . Research highlights included concerns about the Job Related Fitness Assessment (JRFA) and Direct Entry, the importance of role models, and that women and men with alternative or flexible working arrangements consistently feel undervalued within their roles. Progress has been made on some of the recommendations since the research was completed, but there is still work to be done.

Using the GA3 report alongside your own organisation’s gender pay gap may help identify areas where work is needed, and just as importantly where significant progress has been made. There may be new areas which were not picked up in the 2014 report.

We recommend that you look at your own data, identify a small number of priority areas or actions and work on them. Identifying the effort required and the impact will be key, and if you can pick off and achieve an easy action and have a plan for the area of greatest impact it will be a positive step, even if there is still a lot more work to do.

As the pay gap for policing is published, we will share information, articles, ideas and good practice through our website, membership publication Grapevine and our regional and national networks.
You can make sure you have full and prompt access to all our information and services through individual membership www.bawp.org/membership

For further information and reference

Gender Agenda 3 

ACAS Gender Pay Reporting

cmi women blueprint-for-balance

Nikki Butt
Vice President
British Association for Women in Policing

After months of hard work the BAWP were pleased to launch Gender Agenda 3 on 21st October 2014 at New Scotland Yard. We were delighted to be joined by the then ACPO President Sir Hugh Orde, the President of the Superintendents Association, Chief Constables and representatives of support associations from across the service plus many more.

Gender Agenda 3 is the culmination of research carried out with a number of forces and helps us understand the service’s current position relating to diversity and, in particular, to gender. Gender Agenda 3 will be the BAWP’s framework for strategy and action plan to make progress with and for the service.

The action plan sets out on how organisations within policing can ensure that women within in the service can have the confidence and skills to achieve their best in whatever role or career path they choose.


Gender Agenda 3 & Research

Gender Agenda 3 can be downloaded by clicking here

Please click here to download the research led by Manchester Metropolitan University, ‘Police reform: Consequences for the agenda and the police workforce’ January 2014.

If you would like any further information about GA3 please contact the Secretary at sec@bawp.org.

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