Gender Pay Gap report and Women in Finance Charter

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Now in our fourth year of reporting, we have seen a slight increase in our gender pay gap figures for 2020, and the mean gap now stands at 30% (up from 29% in the previous year). Whilst disappointing, this isn’t unexpected – during the last year our executive team has seen a reshuffle, with our previous CEO, Steve Hughes being placed on garden leave until April 2020 having resigned the previous December, with executive team member Mike Jones taking the role of Interim CEO during this time.

We can see how the impact of the overlapping pay for these roles has had a negative effect on our gender pay gap figures: without these salaries being paid at the same time, and by taking into consideration only our Interim CEO’s salary, the gender pay gap figure would’ve stood at 28% for the latest reporting year. 

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, our business has been able to weather the storm under Mike Jones’ leadership, and since the appointment of our new CEO, Julie Ann Haines in September 2020, we’re well and truly role-modelling female leadership from the top down – something that we’re sure will be reflected even further in next year’s report.

Looking at Principality as a whole, our workforce is split 60% female to 40% male and while our female colleagues are spread across junior and senior roles, proportionally we have more females in junior roles. We are extremely proud of the number of women we employ and of the flexible and part-time employment opportunities we provide to all of our colleagues.

Changes to our reward structure over the past few years have ensured that, regardless of grade, all of our colleagues are treated fairly when it comes to their pay. We also regularly benchmark our pay and grading approach to ensure that what we pay for all roles is proportionate to the skills, experience and responsibility required, regardless of who occupies them, and that we are aligned to the external marketplace.

In 2016 we signed up to the Women in Finance Charter and we are committed to reaching our target of 33% of women in senior positions by 2021. The Women in Finance Charter is integral to our ways of working at Principality and there is a clear link to our core values of ‘taking ownership’ and ‘doing the right thing’.

When we signed up to the Charter in July 2016, we had 23% female representation in our senior positions. As of June 2020, we have 32% female representation and we’re confident we’re on track to meet our target. Helping to enable this progression, we’ve weaved our inclusion principles throughout every aspect of our Employee Value Proposition, our People Pact, reflecting the importance of it being represented throughout our employee lifecycle.

Our recruitment processes and practices are designed to select candidates who are able to evidence and display the right behaviours to fit with our values and culture, regardless of their gender or other protected characteristics. We have a number of measures in place during the recruitment process to eliminate unconscious bias, including blind shortlisting and using a ‘gender decoder’ tool to remove gendered language from our job adverts. As well as this, in 2019, our recruitment team partnered with Stonewall Cymru to ensure that the way we recruit and sift applications is inclusive, with no room for unconscious bias that may negatively affect a new applicant’s chances. All hiring managers are now required to attend our ‘Select the Best’ training course which has been designed to take all hiring managers through recruitment best practice and select the best person for the role.
We’ve worked hard to make working at Principality achievable for all and it’s an approach that’s been truly tested throughout the current COVID-19 crisis. Having a workforce that’s able to flex and adapt, we acknowledge benefits not only our business but more importantly the lives of our colleagues. We’ve recently reviewed our flexible working approach, which is now focused on making our workforce more agile than ever before, and we’re hoping that this will continue to help us attract diverse talent and realise our ambition to be an inclusive employer for all; an employer that provides walkways, not barriers, when it comes to reaching goals. In recognition of the changes we continue to drive in our culture, we’re delighted to be recognised once again as a Great Place to Work in 2020.

Our commitment to inclusivity has been a central part of our ways or working for many years. However, the appointment of the first female CEO in Principality’s 160 year history has signalled a step change for the business and the power of this message is felt by both colleagues and our members, something we are hopeful will help inspire confidence and optimism for all moving forward.

I confirm that the information contained in Principality’s gender pay report is accurate.

Tracey Edwards
Interim Chief People Officer

Principality. Where home matters.