Wiltshire Police has recorded an 18% increase in the number of female police officers in the last two years, according to its latest Gender Pay Gap Report 2021, published on 28 March 2022.
The report is a snapshot of Wiltshire Police on 31 March 2021. For the second year in a row, the Force employed more female than male police officers and police staff in total - 1,212 women and 1,151 men.
The report shows the percentage difference between the mean (average) and median (mid-point) hourly earnings of men and women 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.
The median gender pay gap was 9.56% as of 31 March 2021, a slight increase of 0.47% from the 2020 report, mainly due to more male officers joining in previous years who are now past their probation and starting to receive annual pay scale increments.
This is also the second year the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) has published its own breakdown. Due to its organisational size, PCC Philip Wilkinson isn’t required to publish his office figures, but he believes it is important to publish employee data to ensure transparency and accountability to the county’s residents.
The OPCC directly employs 26 members of staff and 65 employees in total, including those working in departments employed and hosted by the PCC: finance, facilities legal, corporate communications and the service recovery team.
The report shows the OPCC employs more females than males – with 49 females (an increase of eight on the previous year) and 16 males – with women dominating the lowest two pay banding quartiles.
It also shows that in the third pay banding, 68.7% are female with 31.25% male and where there are few senior roles in the highest pay banding quartiles, males and females are equally split.
PCC Philip Wilkinson said he welcomed both the findings of Wiltshire Police and his own office and said he was committed to gender parity and balance within the workforce, including seeing more females move to senior roles within policing in general.
“While I welcome the report and acknowledge the great steps that have been made both within Wiltshire Police and my own office, we must never become complacent and think we cannot do better,” he said.
“We absolutely can do better, and we will – both myself and force senior leadership share this vision and will continue to support that growth and encourage further development opportunities.
“We must continue to ensure female progression into senior ranks as well as attracting, and retaining, women in senior staff appointments.”
2021 Wiltshire Police report highlights:
Female police staff numbers continue to outweigh male staff numbers by a ratio of 36:64 (men/women); 39 women joined the police staff payroll in the review year, compared to seven male police staff joiners over the same period.
Police officer numbers showed a 63:37 ratio in favour of men (men/women) as per the previous year’s report. However, encouraging trends are emerging, with an 18% increase in the number of female police officers, from 344 in 2019 to 405 in 2021.
Female progression through the ranks and grades has some way to go, but in March 2021, 17 female police officers passed the sergeants exam, compared with only one in the previous exam. The chief inspector rank has been reintroduced, with females promoted in two of the four appointments in October 2020.
A dedicated Positive Action team works to increase representation from under-represented groups in policing, through targeted recruitment work. In last year’s police officer recruitment campaign, 44% of all applicants were female, the highest on record.
Deputy Chief Constable Dr Paul Mills, Force lead on equality, diversity and inclusion, reaffirmed his commitment to shrinking the pay gap further, by encouraging more women to become police officers and actively supporting female employees to progress their career.
“Gender balance is and will continue to be a key priority for me and our senior leadership team as we work hard to become a more diverse workforce, reflective of the communities we are here to serve,” he said.
“We open police officer recruitment in a few weeks’ time, and I encourage women to step forward and apply; it’s a challenging but hugely rewarding career.”