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The North East’s biggest building society has published its Gender Pay Gap Report for the Society and its subsidiary companies.
 
Newcastle Building Society Group’s gender pay gap, at 23.7%, is lower than the average for the UK’s financial service sector (35.1%), but above the Office of National Statistics’ overall national average of 17.4%.
 
Newcastle Building Society Group consists of: Newcastle Building Society, whose gender pay gap is 29.4% (and includes Newcastle Financial Advisers Ltd), Newcastle Strategic Solutions Ltd, whose gender pay gap is 6.3%, and Newcastle Systems Management Ltd, which is accounted for within the Group figure.
 
The Society is part way through a three year project to review the way in which it rewards its more than 1,000 colleagues across the Group.
 
It has already completed a robust evaluation of job roles and implementation of a pay and grading structure that will ensure all colleagues regardless of gender are rewarded fairly in line with their role and level of individual contribution
 
Government regulations require any organisation that employs more than 250 people to publish their gender pay gap and gender bonus gap figures.
 
While Newcastle Building Society is only required to report these figures for two of the four businesses that make up its Group, it has produced a report for the whole Group which includes data from all four entities to ensure transparency and a full understanding of its present situation.
 
The Group’s mean gender bonus gap for 2017 was 59.8%.  Contributing to the gap in bonus pay is the predominance of male financial advisers together with a higher proportion of males in higher paying IT roles and more senior roles.
 
Additionally, as the bonus gap is calculated on the basis of actual bonus paid, the figures don’t factor the effect of female working patterns. Currently 94% of the Society’s part time colleagues are female.  If bonuses were calculated on a full time equivalent basis the figure would be 16%.
 
Andrew Haigh, chief executive at Newcastle Building Society, said:
 
“Our present gender pay and bonus gap reflect a greater number of senior roles being held by male employees and more junior positions being filled by female colleagues.  We have been working for some time on a range of measures that will help us progressively close these gaps over the coming years.
 
“Our Society aims to be a great place to work where everyone can realise their potential, and we are wholly committed to a culture based on fairness, equality, inclusivity and opportunity.
 
Actions that have already been undertaken include an extensive salary benchmarking review, the implementation of a new pay and grading structure that ensures all colleagues are paid fairly in line with their role and level of individual contribution, and the minimum starting salary for all colleagues being raised above minimum legislative levels and in line with National Living Wage Foundation rates.
 
Plans to introduce further measures to promote gender equality, including a drive to create career paths in alignment with gender neutral processes and procedures alongside reviewing recruitment practices and working with agency partners to generate gender balanced short lists, are presently under development.
 
Andrew Haigh continued, “We’re taking a proactive approach across a range of measures to explore our organisational picture and to understand the influences that contribute to our gender pay gap.
 
While our gender pay gap is well below the average for financial services organisations in the UK, we recognise that we can improve this.  Understanding the multiple factors that drive disparity is crucial in helping us identify ways in which we can do so.”
 
Newcastle Building Society Group’s 2017 gender pay gap report can be downloaded from www.newcastle.co.uk.

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