This year’s International Women’s Day (IWD) theme is #ChooseToChallenge. ”A challenged world is an alert world. Individually, we're all responsible for our own thoughts and actions - all day, every day.”

Our comms & marketing team designed a two-week IWD celebration involving our whole organisation. With their support, we’ve been sharing #ChoosetoChallenge photos and stories on Instagram, profiles of women in our organisation on our website, highlighting women-led organisations on our Linkedin, sharing articles written by women in our weekly newsletter Statecraft and compiling a reading list of books by women.

It’s been brilliant to see the whole team involved in sharing reading, sharing organisations we can lift up and sharing their personal stories. It’s a beautiful thing to come together with the wider world for a day of celebration. But we know celebration without action isn’t enough.

This International Women’s Day, we want to share some of the action we're taking as an organisation and our commitment to continuing to Choose to Challenge; celebrating women's achievement, raising awareness against bias and taking action for equality to create a more inclusive world.

Women in FutureGov

We believe in seeking diverse thinking and perspectives in our organisation and in our work. We actively seek to support women in our organisation and actively seek to continue hiring diverse women.

FutureGov has always had a strong history of women in the organisation and in leadership roles. Today, we’re proud to share that women make up:

  • 55% of our Company Strategy Team, leading the strategic direction of the business
  • 55% women in our total organisation

Getting to these figures wasn’t an accident nor was it simple, considering both the public and tech sectors are historically male-dominated. Our People Team actively works with partner organisations, using different and new platforms for recruitment and employee experience, to help us reach our goals. Working with organisations like Ada’s List, YSYS and our ongoing diversity and inclusion discovery with BRK Ujima, we’ve been able to make strides towards a more diverse and inclusive team.

Gender pay gap

The gender pay gap measures the difference between men and women’s average earnings across an organisation, regardless of role or seniority. Equal Pay on the other hand is the legal requirement for men and women to be paid the same for performing the same or like work.

The gender pay gap is helpful for creating a snapshot picture of an organisation's profile. We say snapshot because reporting on gender pay gap looks at payroll data drawn from a specific date each year. This date would normally be 31 March for public authority employers and 5 April for private, voluntary and all other public authority employers.

For the purposes of this post, and sharing the most up-to-date snapshot of FutureGov, we collated stats from 28 February 2021 and found that our:

  • mean (average) gender pay gap is 15%
  • median (middle, the difference between the median male and median female) gender pay gap figure is 11%

We recognise that this gap is skewed towards our highest quarter and we’re actively addressing this by looking at pay, roles and bringing more senior women into the organisation. We also recognise that reporting a single-day snapshot does not give us the data and insight to understand the underlying trends within our organisation.

We want to better understand these trends, so we’re starting to collect more data to look at our pay gap in a more granular form across roles and levels of seniority, but also in the wider context of the natural change that happens over the course of a year. We’ll be building this into our regular reporting cadences so that by this time next year, we can tell a more informed story about our progress.

Maternity policy

The conversation of equality cannot just be around hiring women and paying them well. We all need to be considering the support we provide women throughout their work and career.

Maternity leave is one of those areas where the expectation often falls solely to women. Our maternity leave policy is designed to offer as much flexibility as possible, including flexibility around shared parental leave, and our benefits - including 12 weeks full pay followed by statutory pay - is designed to offer extra support through a significant moment in a person's life.

We’re in the process of updating this policy in line with recent changes published by the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas), which now needs to be shared with our Employee Forum and will be effective immediately.

We also recognise the importance of supporting people reentering the organisation following a period of maternity leave. Their life has significantly changed with the addition of a new family member who requires a lot of care, which means the continued support we provide will have to change to respond to the individuals changing needs. As part of this, we’re looking at how line managers can be better equipped to support people returning to work so we can create the best environment possible.

What's next

We know FutureGov needs to do better. In addition to closing our gender pay gap, we will start a dialogue internally around analysing our exit interviews, reviewing our parental leave and the outcomes of the diversity and inclusion discovery.

Today, we’re sending our organisation a survey to gather a wider view of diversity data so we can analyse the extent to which we’re achieving our diversity and inclusion aims. In tandem with the diversity and inclusion discovery, this survey will begin to help us benchmark where we’re at versus where we want to be and also help ensure our processes and governance are fair, transparent and do not have an adverse impact on any particular group.

International Women’s Day is an important celebration. But these are important topics we cannot be thinking about one day per year. We all - individually, as an organisation and across our sector - must continue to Choose to Challenge if we’re going to build a more inclusive world.

Get in touch

We’re always happy to answer any questions you have about FutureGov and discuss how we can work together.

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