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Equal Pay for Work of Equal Value

Fairness, Inclusion & Respect

Published 18th Sep 23 - by bertasantos

Equality in pay is an essential marker of fairness, inclusion and respect. We can’t achieve equity in workplaces until we understand and work to close pay gaps that exist to the detriment of minoritized groups.

On International Equal Pay Day, it is important to pay attention to the pay gaps* seen across the built environment sector.  Across all areas of gender, ethnicity and disability, we have a significant way to go to reach parity.

It is best practice to capture and monitor data on gender, ethnicity and disability pay gaps. The data is an essential first step to understanding, and then working to fix issues around equal pay for each of these groups. 

*NOTE: The Gender Pay Gap is a measure of the comparative hourly wage of men and women across the UK. It is not the difference in pay between men and women for doing the same job.


Gender Pay Gap

The 2022 Diversity Data Benchmarking Survey (the largest data capture exercise across the UK built environment sector) run by the Sustainability Tool found that a 20.7% gender pay gap remains in favour of men in the sector, leaving women with, on average, less than 80% of men’s earnings.  

This figure is worse than the census data from ONS, although there is considerable variation across trades and a lower gap for construction operatives – still unacceptably so. 

Ethnicity Pay Gap

We also see an average ethnicity pay gap of 8.3% – yet only 4% of respondents capture ethnicity pay data. It is encouraging that 28% of respondents intend to do so, but this still leaves a large majority of 68% of businesses not meeting best practice and unable to understand the issues and close the gap in ethnicity pay. 

Disability Pay Gap

In terms of disability pay, we see an average disability pay gap of 2.5% – however again, only a minority of businesses are capturing this data.  In 2022, only 2.2% of businesses captured disability pay data, with 22.6% intending to do so, and 75.2% not intending to capture disability data. 

Take Action!

We won’t achieve pay equity unless organisations commit to capturing this essential data, and using it to drive their diversity and inclusion work.

Attend our Diversity Data Benchmarking Conference on 12 December in Birmingham to hear about the latest data available on the diversity of the built environment   sector, and expert insights into how to use this data to drive positive change. 

Now in its third year, the Diversity Survey has grown to capture over half a million employees from over 520 businesses across the UK, and we continue to expand the reach to obtain critical insights for the built environment sector to collaboratively drive change. Participating in the survey is free, and provides organisations with standardised diversity measuring, comprehensive data analysis, progress tracking, and actionable insights to enhance business performance and support transparency and accountability. Further functionality is available through the Diversity Tool which allows organisations to drill right down into their supply chain metrics, unparalleled in the sector. 

Written by Cathryn Greville, Head of Fairness, Inclusion and Respect.

Cathryn Greville is our EDI specialist, and heads up the Fairness, Inclusion & Respect (FIR) Programme which provides an extensive range of training, tools, guidance and resources to assist organisations in addressing workplace culture challenges and build inclusive and respectful environments.