Gender Pay

We’re committed to building a more balanced workforce that’s genuinely representative of the views of our customers and society as a whole

Why gender pay is important to us

At YBSG we’re committed to building a more balanced workforce that’s genuinely representative of the views of our customers and society as a whole. We’re also committed to delivering a leading people experience, so we’re constantly looking at areas that will improve our working environment and culture for all colleagues.

These goals are very important for us as they are so vital to our value of being the most trusted provider of financial services in the UK. As part of these commitments we’re investing resources in to planning how we can develop a more inclusive and diverse workforce, where everyone is able to flourish to the best of their ability and to meet their own aspirations. We’re already working on the different themes that will drive a more inclusive and diverse workforce, with one important area being consideration of gender. A key tool for us is to examine the gender pay gap. YBSG does have a gender pay gap and we’re seeking to understand more about how we close it.

Making sense of the gender pay gap

On average, women earn less than men across the UK. This gap in pay has been reducing since records began in 1997, but is still substantial.

As part of efforts to close this gap, we and other large organisations are gathering our pay data for the month of April 2017, and publishing it. We’re all calculating 6 key metrics in the same way; at YBSG we call this our “core data”. At YBSG we’ve chosen to publish this core data ahead of the deadline of April 2018, in a spirit of openness and transparency. We’ve also chosen to provide “additional data” and commentary to help explain the core data.

The gender pay gap calculates average difference in pay between all men and all women in an organisation, or an industry, or a country. It does take account of contracted hours, looking at hourly rates of pay; in other words, it takes account of part-time working. However it doesn’t take account of the numbers of men and women in different roles or at different levels in an organisation. It is different from equal pay, which considers pay at a role level e.g. jobs of the same value.

So the existence of a gender pay gap does not mean that individuals aren’t being paid fairly for what they do.

There are several headline reasons why a gender pay gap can occur in any organisation, including:

  • The different industry sectors and different jobs, with differing rates of pay, that women and men are attracted to work in
  • The levels in an organisation that women and men reach, and the reasons for this
  • Periods of time not in work, which are often higher for women than men due to maternity leave / time away from work for childcare
  • The proportion of women in part-time work, by choice or circumstance, and the typically lower hourly pay rates of part-time roles.
  • Pay choices that are made, at various points of an individual’s working life.

Underneath these headline reasons may be many root causes. Some may be personal to individuals, such as choices they make because of personal circumstances, their work preferences, and their aspirations. Other causes may be found in society generally, such as the roles that women and men have historically been attracted to, and have felt comfortable working in. Further causes might be due to the culture in an organisations, and how well supported all colleagues feel to progress as far as they would like. However there isn’t one simple solution that “fixes” a gender pay gap.”

Our situation - and what we're doing about it

There is a gender pay gap at YBSG. In a typical month, this is around 29.6% for the whole organisation. It is lower than a similar figure for Financial and Insurance services in the UK (37.5% - ONS, all employees, 2016).

We’ve carried out considerable work to understand what this pay gap means, and why it is at the level it is. We know that the main reason is gender representation - the imbalance of men and women at different levels in the organisation, with our lowest job grades being occupied by a vast majority of women, and our most senior grades by a majority of men. This has historically been quite typical in many industries, and in particular in ours. We are already on a journey to understand why this pattern exists. We’ve spent time this year asking colleagues their views on what an inclusive environment looks and feels like. We’re continuing to listen to their feedback and it’s helping to shape our Diversity and Inclusion activity. In particular we want to look at addressing unconscious stereotypes that might exist, supporting colleagues throughout their YBS career, and addressing real or perceived barriers that get in the way of the YBS people experience.

Another factor which has been shown to affect women’s pay progression across the UK relates to time out of the workplace to have and bring up children. Our data does suggest that a widening of the gender pay gap happens when women typically have time off in this way, so we’re working to understand how we can support all our working parents to bring up families and still maintain progressive careers with YBSG. There are many aspects to this as we need to think about choices that individuals make and that the organisation makes too. One significant action that we have taken is to invest significantly in family-related benefits by increasing maternity pay, adoption pay and shared parental pay. (Levels for these are now: XX weeks full pay, plus XX weeks half pay plus a further XX weeks at statutory pay. Colleagues on paternity leave are also eligible for XX weeks full pay.) Looking more broadly to support colleagues with families, we launched a family friendly and flexible working campaign in January 2017, including specific line manager training and coaching, to help colleagues manage their work alongside their family commitments.

We believe its important not to be complacent about pay itself, so we’ve spent time reviewing our pay policies and practices. Through this and our conversations with line managers, we’re confident that gender doesn’t pay a part in any conscious decision making. However we recognise that when pay choices are made – at recruitment, pay reviews, and career progression stages – managers need the maximum support to make ensure they make the most appropriate choices. So we’ve invested in focussing on the guidance and support available to leaders when they make pay decisions. And for the last couple of years we’ve been developing a more flexible approach to our pay reviews so that funds available are awarded in the most effective way. In doing this we’ve worked closely with Aegis, the trade union representing our colleagues.

One particular aspect of pay that can contribute to the overall gender pay gap is the awarding of bonuses. We’re proud to say that our data shows that across the business men and women achieve virtually the same proportion of bonus opportunity, when we look at what level of bonus is available to them and what they achieve. There is a significant bonus pay gap when we look at the actual differences in bonus pay received, and this is again a feature of our gender imbalance across the business.

In essence, we know a lot about our gender pay gap and are working to understand it more, through discussions with colleagues and leaders. On the next pages we describe the core data in more detail, and explain how some of the numbers are made up.”

What is the gender pay gap and how does this compare to the rest of our sector?

There is a gender pay gap at YBSG, and a very significant reason for this is the representation of men and women in the workforce. By this we mean what levels in the business women and men work at. In line with many other financial services business, whilst around 65% of our workforce are women, they are heavily concentrated in the lower level jobs, particularly in our operational teams. At senior levels, women are in the minority. So there is an imbalance - men and women aren’t represented evenly at all levels. We can see this by looking where people sit in the organisation:

Core data 1. -  YBSG Pay quartiles, April 2017



Q1  - lowest levels within the organisation









Q4  - highest levels within the organisation



So when we calculate the average pay for all women – the majority of whom are in the lower paid levels - and compare it to the average pay for all men, it results in a gender pay gap.

To calculate the gender pay gap we look at hourly rates of pay for men and women, and for the core data we have to include a number of elements in addition to salary, including any bonus paid in that month. We then calculate the gap in 2 different ways, both of which look at the difference in the average hourly rates of pay for men and women, as a proportion of the average hourly rate of pay for men.

The first method to calculate the gender pay gap is to use the median. This takes the middle value in a range of pay rates, and is less distorted by a few outlying high salaries (e.g. those for the most senior executives). So the median is useful as it is indicative of the more “typical” pay gap.

Largely due to the issue of gender representation that we explained earlier, we do have a median gender pay gap of 29.6%. For comparison, we an see that this is considerably lower than that for the rest of the financial services sector:

The second method of calculating the gender pay gap is to use the mean. This takes all of the pay rates for all men, and all of the pay rates for all women, and averages them. It indicates the full range of differences in pay in an organisation. However it doesn’t explain why these differences occur, such as the numbers of men and women in different career levels in the organisations. The mean pay gap for YBSG is shown below:

This number is higher than the mean pay gap, which is to be expected because of the effect of the higher pay of senior executives, the majority of whom are men. The reason that it is significantly higher than the mean is because we pay our senior executives their annual bonuses in April (the month for which this data was gathered). The majority of those individuals are men, including the highest paid individual who is the CEO. Many other organisations will pay bonuses in other months, and their April core data won’t be affected in this way

To help demonstrate this impact, we’ve separately calculated the mean pay gap for April but excluding bonuses, and it is considerably lower.