Scotland’s third sector gender pay gap revealed

Gender pay

TFN looks at Scotland's 10 biggest charities to discover whether they pay men more than women

10th April 2018 by Robert Armour 1 Comment

Scotland's ten largest charities outperform other sectors in terms of pay equality.

However, only three of Scotland’s biggest third sector employers published a gender pay gap in favour of women, even though they all employ considerably more women than men.

Enable Scotland, Cornerstone and the Richmond Fellowship Scotland – three of the country’s biggest and best known care charities – reported gender pay gap of 2.6%, 2.67% and 0.5% respectively in favour of female staff. Both Enable and Cornerstone have female chief executives.

Using the mean figures – which total all women’s wages and divides them by the number of women, then compares that to the same figure for men – they show eight of Scotland’s 10 largest charities still have pay gaps in favour of men.

However, while far from perfect, the third sector is driving ahead in terms of equality compared to the private sector, where more than three-quarters of UK companies pay men more on average than women and the median pay gap across all medium and large-sized firms is now 9.7%

The charities were chosen based on staffing levels, so eight of the 10 are care charities. Universities, colleges and private schools were discluded.

UK companies with 250 or more employees had to publish their gender pay gap data by April, under a new legal requirement.

Turning Point – the substance misuse and learning disability charity – came third on the list of Scottish charities, reporting a 1.15% gender pay gap in favour of men for its 67% female workforce.      

Quarriers, the country’s biggest care organisation by employees, showed a 3.43% gender pay gap in favour of men, despite a 79.5% female workforce.

At the other end of the spectrum, the National Trust for Scotland was the worst performing of the 10 showing a 15.4% gap in favour of men despite women making up nearly 61% of its workforce.

The only housing association on the list, Key Housing, published a gender pay gap of 3.93% in favour of men.

Responding to the figures a spokesperson for Enable Scotland said the organisation strived to weight female employees positively, adding: “We proactively offer a supportive and flexible environment designed to encourage women into senior roles, and indeed seek to make it possible for all staff in senior roles, whether male or female, to support the balance of work with caring responsibilities.”

Cornerstone’s Mairi Martin said females on average earn more than males at the charity due to the organisation employing around 80% women who are represented at all levels.

She added: “We appoint on merit and our values, regardless of age, race, gender and will continue to ensure that equal pay and opportunities are promoted, and that all colleagues are treated fairly, living up to our values.”

Alice Harper, Quarriers chief executive, said: “This gap presents a challenge for Quarriers as an employer committed to embracing equality and diversity within our workforce. It does however compare exceptionally favourably with the UK mean.”

Ann-Marie O’Donnell, third sector employment specialist for Reed Recruitment, told TFN that overall the figures are “good news” for the third sector.

CharityGender pay gapGender ratio
Enable2.6% in favour of women73% female
Cornerstone2.67% in favour of women80% female
Richmond Fellowship Scotland*0.5% in favour of women66.5% female
Turning Point1.15% in favour of men67% female
Sense Scotland3.1% in favour of men74% female
Quarriers3.43% in favour of men79.5% female
Key Housing3.93% in favour of men76% female
Alzheimer Scotland4.4% in favour of men85% female
Capability Scotland5.82% in favour of men75% female
National Trust for Scotland15.4% in favour of men61% female

“They only enhance the prospects for large employers, especially in the care sector, who can safely say they outperform other sectors in terms of pay equality,” she said.  

“Women will now use these figures as a barometer of equality – as will all socially conscious men too. It has often been difficult to categorise and characterise the third sector because of its diversity. I think these figures now show that, whatever your take, the sector is putting equality at the forefront in a way other sectors aren’t.”  

Carol-Ann Boyter, NTS’s head of people, said of its gender pay gap: “We know that there are some issues we need to address, and that these may take some time. The trust has embarked on a transformational journey to make sure that we can continue to be a leader in conservation and heritage, and doing the right thing for our workforce is very high on our agenda.”

*CORRECTION: The figures for the Richmond Fellowship Scotland have been updated. TFN originally published figures for the Richmond Fellowship, which is based in England and is an entirely separate organisation. The Richmond Fellowship Scotland is doing much better that its English counterpart, with a 0.5% paygap in favour of women. TFN apologises for the error.

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