A piece in today’s Sunday Telegraph:
Women outnumber men for the first time at a British police force, a gender pay gap report has revealed.
Wiltshire Police has 1,140 female officers and staff compared to 1,101 male employees, according to newly-published data recorded on March 31 last year.
The balance has been tipped through the force’s ‘Positive Action’ initiative, which aims to recruit staff from under-represented groups.
All but one of 63 Wiltshire Police staff hired between 2019 and 2020 were female, and 36 have police officer roles. A further 26 women were employed in community-facing, operating centre or special constable positions.
Almost two-thirds of police officers in the force are men – 656, compared to 380 women – while 760 of 1,205 civilian staff are female (63.3 per cent).
However only 18 per cent of women in the force are employed in senior positions, according to the report, with Assistant Chief Constable Deb Smith currently the most senior female figure.
Wiltshire Police’s overall gender pay gap as of March 2020 was 9.1 per cent, a decrease of 1.5 per cent from 2019. It was recognised as one of the 10 most improved forces for gender equality in a report by the charity HeForShe.
“Men and women are paid equally at every grade in Wiltshire Police,” the report reads. “However, if one gender dominates higher pay-graded roles then this results in a gender pay gap.
“Wiltshire Police has made great strides in recent times, thanks to the positive moves being made by all across the Force – but we still strive for more female representation across the ranks.”
Chief Constable Kier Pritchard said that he was pleased with the findings of the report and that the work of the force to diversify its staff would continue. [J4MB emphasis]
“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,” he said.
“The force has recorded more females in officer and staff roles for the first time and we have seen a 10 per cent increase, year-on-year, in females becoming officers.
“This is really important progress and one I am committed to building upon in the future.”
Women make up an average of 44.4 per cent of all policing staff across the UK’s 45 police forces, according to an analysis by this newspaper of the recent data.
Two-fifths of police officers in Cumbria are women, the most in any constabulary, while 49.5 per cent of all staff at Derbyshire Police are female.
Female staff ratios are lowest in London’s two police forces, at 33.75 per cent of Metropolitan Police employees and 23.25 per cent of City of London staff respectively.
The Police Federation last month reiterated its commitment to changing public perceptions about gender and policing.
Its pledges and recommendations include all-female fitness tests [J4MB: Translation – less onerous tests than the men have to pass] and greater scope for flexible working arrangements. [J4MB emphasis]
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