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Our statement on the gender pay gap

We are Britain’s leading centre for independent social research, with almost 50 years’ experience of listening to the public and making sure their voice is heard.

At the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen), we are driven by the belief that social research has the power to make life better and, as a non-profit organisation, we are never compromised by commercial or political agenda.

We care passionately about our staff, believe in equality and diversity, and recognise that it is essential that people are treated with respect and dignity. We believe that diversity enriches all of our lives.  

Illegal and unfair discrimination, whether direct, indirect or by association or perception, have become increasingly indefensible in today’s society. A diverse workforce makes organisational sense, as it adds value by bringing staff with different experiences, knowledge and perspectives together.

I am pleased to publish our first gender pay report. Overall, it shows that we have a gender pay gap that currently favours women. I can also confirm that the data in this report is accurate and in line with Government regulations.

We are confident that women and men are paid equally for doing equivalent work within NatCen, and we have adopted transparent pay structures for our staff. We recruit from the widest possible pools, advertising our jobs externally, and ensuring that language used in advertisements is gender neutral.


Our data and what it is telling us

Our current data show that we currently have an overall mean and median pay gap in favour of women. The median pay gap (-15%) is larger than the mean pay gap (-5%), reflecting that there are many more women than men in the two upper pay quartiles, relative to the two lower pay quartiles.

A significant proportion of our employees are social scientists, and in part the median and mean negative pay gap is influenced by the high proportion of female staff we employ in these posts.  Additionally, we engage a high proportion of female staff in support roles in our Brentwood office.

We have no gender pay gap in the lower and lower middle quartiles. The data in these quartiles relate almost entirely to our interviewers.

We have a negative gender pay gap in the upper middle quartile, as it includes our highly specialised nurse interviewers who are the highest-paid interviewer group and almost all female. At present, the proportion of male nurse interviewers we engage is 2.8%, which is lower than the approximately 11.5% of male nurses who are registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

The upper quartile represents mostly office-based staff and shows a large pay gap in favour of men, although there are many more women than men in this highest-paid quartile. We are aware that, like many organisations, we have a higher proportion of men in senior positions among our office based staff, and this is what drives the pay gap we have in the upper quartile.

We are taking a number of steps to encourage and enable women to progress to the senior grades within the upper quartile. These include:

  • Providing coaching, mentoring and training programmes targeted on progression;
  • Improving recruitment techniques, anonymising materials and training recruiting managers to avoid implicit bias;
  • Promoting a flexible working culture that welcomes flexible hours, part-time working and job share;
  • Embedding progression assessments as part of our six-monthly performance review process.

We are taking steps to address the low proportions of men we engage as nurse interviewers and as social scientists by:

  • Proactively encouraging men to apply for posts, including through wording in job advertisements;
  • Ensuring there is a better gender balance on relevant interview panels, including those for junior social research posts.

We are keen to welcome both men and women equally at NatCen.

As always, I am grateful to NatCen’s staff for their helpful contributions and comments on our approach to the gender pay gap, including through a set of sessions with our Leadership Team. We will be monitoring our gender pay gap in the coming years and modifying our approach accordingly.


Guy Goodwin

Chief Executive, National Centre for Social Research (NatCen)

March 2018