Hertfordshire Constabulary remains ambitious about reducing its gender pay gap and I am encouraged to see that there has been a rise in the proportion of female constables since 2020/2021.
As a force we are focusing our efforts to improve on this year’s figures which show the gap has increased slightly to 19.5 per cent compared to a median of 17.57 per cent the previous year. Our drive to recruit more officers through Uplift has seen an increase in the number of females joining as police officers. Encouragingly 43.8% of new police officer recruited in this reporting year are female, which is well above the National Average of 32.3%. It is also noteworthy to reflect that half of the Chief Officer team are women which I know inspires others to strive for promotion and fulfil their true potential.
The rate of new joiners who are female is also rising, this means that the proportion of women in the early stages of their career is increasing as shown in the 1.64% increase of the female proportion in the Quartile 1 profile. At a more senior level, Chief Inspector and staff equivalent or above, female colleagues make up 28% of this group. This figure is steadily improving through a raft of initiatives championed by our HR colleagues and Workforce Development Department who are on hand to offer specialist support and guidance.
Bill Jephson Deputy Chief Constable
As reported in previous years the breakdown in gender demographics for police officers and police staff shows that we continue to have a higher proportion of female police staff to males. There has been an increase in officer numbers in 2021/22 which has seen a marginal increase in the number of female officers employed in the Force. Although females still represent a lower proportion the increase shows a continued trend in the right direction to bridge this gap.
Officer Female proportion
Officer Male proportion
Staff Female proportion
Staff Male proportion
Breakdown of workforce
Examining the female and male split at each officer rank, we have seen a steady increase in the percentage of female Constables in the last three years. In 2018/19 31.76% of all officer ranks were female. This increased to 32.78% in 2019/20, then again in 2020/21 to 34%. The 2021/22 figures show a further increase, females represent 37.81% of the total Hertfordshire Constabulary Constable population. Within the Senior Rank proportion (Chief Inspector and above) females make up 28% of the population which is slightly lower than the 2020/21 figure of 28.17% however, it is an increase from the 2019/20 figure of 25%.
Officer Head Count
Senior Officer – promotion progress
At our Chief Officers levels our female Assistant Chief Constable (ACC Genna Telfer) remained in post. Chief Superintendent (Ch. Supt Amanda Bell) Chief Superintendent (Ch. Supt. Kay Lancaster form part of our Senior Leadership Team. We are pleased to say that this continues the trend of being able to have a positive female representation at the most senior ranks within our Force.
Promotions processes across our three collaborated Forces are the same for male and female officers. In 2021/22 the tri-force promotions resulted in the following female promotions taking place:
There was no promotions process run for the Chief Superintendent rank in this year.
At this rank there were 5 female applicants out of a total of 16 Hertfordshire applicants. This represented 31% of those who applied in Hertfordshire Constabulary. One female was successful in the boards out of a total of 5 who were successful in this process.
There were 6 female applicants in the Chief Inspector process out of a total of 27 Hertfordshire applicants. 2 female applicants passed, which represented 29% of those who passed the boards from the constabulary.
The gender pay gap
Median: The mid-point in the range
Mean: The whole range expressed as an average
Police Staff and Police Officers combined (includes all staff and officer levels)
The median gender pay gap is 19.52% The mean gender pay gap is 11.41%
Compared to the 2020/21 data, the mean pay gap has widened by 1.5% and the median gender pay gap has also widened by 1.95%
Police Staff and Police Officers separated.
When we split out the data for staff and officers we can see that this does change our Forces dynamic:
The median pay gap for police staff is 6.09% and for police officers is 0%.
The mean pay gap for staff is 8.81% and for officers it is 6.09%.
Compared to the 2020/21 data, the Staff mean pay gap has grown by 2.10% where as the median staff pay gap has narrowed by 2.04%. The Officer only mean gender pay gap has widened by 1.25% and the median gender pay gap has also widened slightly to 0.24%.
Employee Quartiles (Staff and Officers combined)
In this year there has been a 1.64% increase of the female proportion in Q1, due to the positive recruitment focus for females entering the Force and a 4.85% increase in the female proportion in Q3, due to several middle management promotions of females across departments. Q4 shows a decrease of the female proportion by 3.61%, which is due to a senior female officer accepting promotion in another force.
The bonus gender pay gap
For Police Officers, there is Home Office national guidance, introduced in 2003, that allows Forces to make one-off bonus payments of between £50 and £500 when an officer has carried out work of an outstandingly demanding, unpleasant or important nature. Specific to Firearms officers, there is also a national agreement for bonus payments to be made as an agreed retention incentive. Though paid as a bonus payment in previous years these are now being paid as a temporary targeted variable payment (TVP) which has been in place since 2017. The value of these firearms payments in remain at the same value and can be up to a maximum total of £2,000 per officer annually. The situation remains unchanged that most firearm officers are male, and this continues to affect the bonus gender pay gap data. The TVP scheme allows Forces to recognise specialist skills and to assist with retaining officers in these types of roles which now includes detectives as well as other specialist units.
Police staff are eligible to receive honoraria payments for work that is over and above their normal duties and/or of particular importance or quality, and payments require formal sign off to review the rationale for the payments.
This year, a one-off bonus payment of £100 was made to all staff and officers who met certain requirements in recognition of level of commitment sustained throughout the pandemic.
Staff and officers combined.
The median bonus gender pay gap is 0%, a move in a positive direction from 3.84% in the last reporting year.
In comparison to 2020/21, the mean pay bonus gap has decreased by 19.32% to 22.17% from 41.49% previously.
Number of Recipients
% of males and females who received a bonus
The officer bonus median pay gap has remained 0% and the mean bonus officer pay gap has widened from 6.12% to 26.88%.
The staff honoraria medium pay gap is now in favour of females at -9.51% and the mean bonus staff pay gap is has closed, moving from 14.89% previously to 0%.
Summary and key activities
Hertfordshire continues with the work already established to achieve a diverse workforce by introducing dedicated resources in support of new and existing employees. These include an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Team and a Positive Action Recruitment Team as part of our Workforce Development Dept., designed to deliver a cohesive and innovative approach to ensuring a representative workforce of the community we serve. These teams offer specialist support and opportunities to members of minority groups by proactively engaging hard to reach communities and those from varying protective characteristics, driving a cultural understanding and appreciation to weave into everyday working practices.
Future activity that we will be focusing on in the forthcoming years in relation to better representation and fair pay activity include:
To continue understanding reasons for under representation in certain units and how we can encourage and support more female officers into these teams. Areas of focus include the Dog and Firearms units. Female representation in these areas is a national issue and work continues to support an increase. We have seen an increase in the number of females who joined as police officers with 43.8% of new police officer recruits being female in this reporting year, which is well above the National Average of 32.3%.
BCH is committed to becoming a ‘Menopause Friendly’ Organisation and will be submitting our application for independent accreditation in Spring 2023. As part of this commitment, we are training managers to gain the knowledge and understanding around menopause and where to signpost support and help. We want everyone to feel comfortable talking about menopause, never feeling that the subject is taboo or off limits or a reason not to join or to leave the police service.
The Becoming Career Ready pilot programme launched in April 2022. The Becoming Career Ready programme is aimed at career-minded women from Black, Asian, and other underrepresented ethnic backgrounds, including those who do not speak English as a first language. The programme is designed to help underrepresented female officers and staff, of any rank or grade, progress their policing career, whether this is through promotion or a lateral career move. It offers a networking and learning opportunity where career development barriers - whether perceived or experienced first-hand - can be explored and dismantled to support progression. The aim is to create a space for their voices to be heard, and for them to be seen and included.
There is the continued recruitment focus on attracting and retaining a more diverse workforce including providing support to those applicants who are under-represented which has received additional investment.
Through better data collection, we will also understand the composition of gender pay in relation to ethnicity and the 9 protected characteristics.
Work continues to champion female development and progression including activity co-ordinated through the Herts Police Women’s Network and the newly formed Men’s Forum including an annual conference in March each year to mark International Women’s day. Targeted events are also run throughout the calendar year.