Cancer Research UK launched its EDI strategy two years ago, making a commitment to being transparent about progress and challenges. Today the charity has published its gender and ethnicity pay gap reports.
The gender pay gap is the difference in average pay between all females and males, and the ethnicity pay gap is calculated by comparing the average pay of White employees and other ethnic minority colleagues. The gender and ethnicity pay gaps are not the same as equal pay. Cancer Research UK conducts an equal pay audit and females and males receive the same pay for equal work.
I believe that by continuing to put equality, diversity and inclusion at the heart of our charity, we will make faster progress against our mission of beating cancer.
Michelle Mitchell, chief executive at Cancer Research UK
Gender pay gap
The charity reported a reduction in its mean gender pay gap, from 19.7% in 2021 to 18.3% in 2022. The median (middle) gender pay gap reduced from 30.9% in 2021 to 27.6% in 2022.
The gender pay gap across the charity remains driven by the overall shape and distribution of females (76%) and males (24%) across the charity. This includes colleagues in the charity’s shops which make up more than half of Cancer Research UK’s workforce. The charity employs more females than males in retail roles, which is typical of the sector in the UK. As retail is a lower paid sector, this continues to have the greatest impact when comparing the average hourly rates of females and males.
“I’m pleased that we maintained our target of at least 50% of women working at Executive Board or Director levels at Cancer Research UK for the majority of the financial year,” said Mitchell.
Ethnicity pay gap
Cancer Research UK’s mean ethnicity pay gap has reduced from -9.3% in 2021 to -5.9% in 2022. This means that staff from an ethnic minority background are paid on average more than White employees.
The median ethnicity pay gap is -23.3% in 2022, compared to -32.0% in 2021. While the pay gap remains in favour of ethnic minority staff, it is only one indicator and is based on small numbers, so does not provide a comprehensive view of the diversity of the charity’s workforce.
This pay gap is influenced by two main factors: the lower number of ethnic minority staff employed across all levels and roles in the charity, and the lower proportion of ethnic minority staff employed in the charity’s shops.
At the reporting date of April 2022, only 12% of staff that had disclosed their ethnicity were from an ethnic minority background, however this figure has increased to 13.5% as of December 2022.
Closing the gaps
Since Cancer Research UK last released its gender and ethnicity pay gap reports, it has made several changes to recruitment.
The charity has now introduced anonymous CVs, reviewed its new and existing job descriptions, and rewritten job advertisements with a focus on accessibility and inclusivity. It reviews the progression rates of female and male applicants through each stage of the recruitment process and acts on any trends.
“We’ll continue to explore and further interrogate the data, engaging with staff and identifying areas where we could potentially make more targeted interventions,” said Mitchell.
“We’re keen to improve our data capture, including aiming to increase the number of staff sharing their demographic information.”
Cancer Research UK remains committed to becoming a more diverse and inclusive charity by attracting, retaining and developing the very best talent to help beat cancer.
“I believe that by continuing to put equality, diversity and inclusion at the heart of our charity, we will make faster progress against our mission of beating cancer,” concluded Mitchell.