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Wed May 25 2022

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Balfour Beatty gender pay gap widens

3 Apr 19 Balfour Beatty’s gender pay gap has widened in the past year, perhaps in spite of but more likely as a direct result of diversity initiatives to recruit more women.

Women's work
Women's work

Balfour Beatty has reviewed its recruitment practices to get more women into the business. As new starters tend to join at lower levels, the result is more women on lower pay scales

The mean gender pay gap between male and female employees for 2018/19 in Balfour Beatty is 24%. The median gap (calculated using the midpoint salary for each gender) is 30%.

In 2017/18 the mean gender gap was 21% and the media was 23%. (The 2017/18 figures have been corrected from a previously reported 27% and 33% because Balfour Beatty realised it was miscalculating hourly rates of pay.)

The mean gender bonus gap is 33% mean and median is 37%, reflecting that the majority of those who have the opportunity to earn a bonus are those in management roles in the organisation, where female representation is lower.

Those with the opportunity to earn the largest bonuses, typically in senior leadership roles are within the upper pay quartile of the company where the number of women is much lower than the number of men.

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Chief executive Leo Quinn said: “We have made some progress. For example, the overall percentage of women in the business has increased since our last gender pay report (21% of total hires in the last 12 months were female) and we have improved the gender balance of our board and executive team in the last year.

“At the same time, our mean gender pay gap at Balfour Beatty has increased very slightly, as we anticipated it might. This may be due to the measures we are implementing to bring in more women into the business at entry level: we have increased the number of females recruited amongst the graduate, apprentice and trainee population. Whatever the short-term impact on metrics, there is no doubt that these steps are the right ones in order to create a long-term pipeline of female talent which will embed sustainable change in our workforce and our culture.”

He said: “Beyond our own company we operate in a sector – construction – which was unfortunately revealed as being one of the worst industries in terms of its gender pay gap last year. This is a problem that belongs to all of us: how the wider industry is perceived has a significant impact on how likely people are to choose to develop their careers in the sector. Transforming the industry will be tougher than just driving change within our own business. Most of the issues driving the pay gap are societal, structural and historic: they will require action over the long term and an understanding that significant improvements may take years to come through.

“There remains a long way to go. The issues in the sector are longstanding and deep-rooted. We know that progress will at times seem frustratingly slow, but by fulfilling our plan, we should begin to move in the right direction within the next few years. The bottom line is we know that action is what brings about change, and we are committed to drive change as quickly as we can.

“Women will not seriously consider construction and infrastructure as a viable career route in large enough numbers until the sector fully addresses these issues. But let’s not get stuck on the scale of the challenge. Let’s focus on the action we need to take to tackle it.”

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