Wiltshire Police recorded a 10% increase in the number of females becoming officers between 2019 and March 2020, according to a new report published today (30 March).

The Gender Pay Gap 2020 report also highlights the Force has more females than males in its staff and officer roles for the first time ever.

Since 2017, any public sector organisation with more than 250 employees must report, and publish, its figures about its gender pay gap annually.

The Force’s new report, which shows a snapshot of Wiltshire Police taken on 31 March 2020, reveals that the total number of female officers and staff was 1,140 whereas male officers and staff totalled 1,101.

The report shows the percentage difference between the mean (average) and median (mid-point) hourly earnings of men and woman in the workplace.

Men and women are paid equally at every grade in Wiltshire Police. However if one gender dominates higher pay graded roles, this results in a gender pay gap.

Inline with the national picture, the Force shrunk its median (mid-point) gender pay gap by 1.9% from 10.96% in 2019 to 9.09% in 2020. Nationally the gender pay gap among all full pay relevant employees fell by 1.9%, down from 17.9% in 2019 to 15.5% in 2020.

The main reasons for this were:  

  • More female police staff employed at higher graded positions in the organisation.
  • The Force continuing to attract females to police officer roles, alongside more females applying for, and becoming successful at, promotions to senior roles.

 Highlights from the 2020 report show:

  •  Wiltshire Police increased the number of female officers from 344 in 2019 to 380 in 2020 – an increase of more than 10% - with more coming through the training pathway.
  •  Wiltshire Police employed 1,101 males and 1140 females (49:51 ratio). The first time  females in officer and staff roles outweighed the number of males.
  •  In police staff roles, the ratio was 37:63 in favour of females (445 males/ 760 female).
  •  In police officer roles, the ratio was 63:37 in favour of males (656 males/ 380 females. This was an improvement on the 2019 report where the ratio was 66:34 in favour of males (654 males/ 344 females).

The report also highlights how the Force’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy, and its Positive Action Plan, sets out the Force’s approach to the attraction, recruitment, retention and progression of under-represented groups.

This work has meant 53% of 105 successful police officer candidates (in March 2020) were female, of ethnic minority, ex-military or other protected characteristics.

Chief Constable Kier Pritchard said he was pleased with the report’s findings but was committed to shrinking the pay gap further and attracting more females to senior positions within the Force.

He said: “We are really beginning to see the results of hard work put in to ensure we are meeting our commitment to an even gender balance in the Force and attracting more females to senior roles in the organisation, both as officers and staff.

“The Force has recorded more females in officer and staff roles for the first time and we have seen a 10% increase, year-on-year, in females becoming officers. We also have increasing numbers of females applying for promotion and being successful.

“This is really important progress and one I am committed to building upon in the future.”

This year for the first time, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) published its breakdown.

The OPCC directly employs 22 members of staff, and 58 employees in total including those working in HQ as part of the departments employed and hosted by the PCC ie: finance, facilities, legal, corporate communications and the service recovery team.

Because of its organisational size, the PCC isn’t required to publish his office figures but has taken this step to ensure transparency and accountability to the county's residents. 

The report shows the OPCC employs more females than males: 41 employees compared to 17 employees respectively - and that females dominate in the lowest two pay banding quartiles.

It also highlights that females and males are, more or less, equally spread over the third and fourth pay banding quartiles. 

The OPCC is a small organisation and has very few senior roles in the highest pay bandings – those roles that do fall in this banding are, more or less, evenly split between females and males.

Angus Macpherson, Wiltshire and Swindon's Police and Crime Commissioner, also welcomed the report's findings for the Force and the OPCC and reiterated his office’s commitment to further gender parity and attracting more females into senior roles.

He said: "We have been making huge strides over the years to ensure as much gender parity as we can within Wiltshire Police and my own office.

"Positive action recruitment strategies, alongside our mentoring schemes to encourage more females to become officers, stay within the organisation and apply for promotion are really beginning to come to fruition. I expect to see those figures rise more when 2021’s report is published next year.

“It is important that, as a Force, that our employees – both officers and staff – are reflective of the communities we serve and having that parity and balance within all parts of Wiltshire Police is hugely important.

“The OPCC isn’t obliged to reveal its figures but we are a public-funded organisation and I believe it is important for transparency purposes that residents, to whom we are accountable, have access to the figures.

“We cannot make a true comparison of ourselves compared to other PCC offices, or small organisations, as not all publish their figures - or are obliged to - but I am pleased at the spread of both genders across the OPCC and its commitment to ensuring more females in senior roles.”

To read the report, go to: 

https://www.wiltshire.police.uk/police-forces/wiltshire-police/areas/about-us/about-us/gender-pay-gap/