Introduction: Assistant Chief Officer Philip Wells
It is encouraging to see that our gender pay gap is reducing and has gone from 12.49 per cent to 9.42 per cent, which is a positive move in the right direction to closing the gap, further. Increased representation is also visible in the police constable population, rising from 37.1 per cent to 38.42 per cent and 37.1 per cent of roles at a senior officer level are now held by women.
We continue to evolve and commit to maintaining the promise of diversity within our workforce. This is important, as we work towards building a workforce that is reflective of the community we serve. It is our goal to continue to better understand and overcome barriers in order to achieve the promise of an equal and representative workforce across all ranks and professional levels.
If you would like support in your role or would like to speak with other women who are on hand to listen and share advice, please join the Women’s Network.
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 7.29% increase in the number of female officers employed in the Force in comparison there has been a 3.87% increase in the number of male officers this reporting year. Although females still represent a lower proportion, this increase is a step in the right direction to bridge this gap.
Female / male proportion
Officer Female proportion
Officer Male proportion
Staff Female proportion
Staff Male proportion
Breakdown of workforce
Looking at the female and male split at each officer rank, we have seen a consistent increase in the percentage of female Constables in the last three years. In 2018/19 34% of all Constables were female. This increased to 36% in 2019/20 and has again increased to 37.1% in 2020/21 and we see a further increase in this reporting year, 38.42% of constables are female. Within the Senior Rank proportion (Chief Inspector and above) females make up 36.73% of the population.
Officer Head Count
Senior Officer – promotion progress
At our Chief Officer levels our female Assistant Chief Constable (ACC Jacqueline Sebire) has remained in post in this reporting year and Temporary Assistant Chief Constable (T/ACC Karena Thomas) was in post in the Joint Protective Services. Chief Superintendent (Chief Supt Julie Henderson), Detective Chief Superintendent (Det C. Supt Dee Perkins), Detective Superintendents (Det Supt Zara Brown and T/Det Supt Louisa Glynn) and Superintendent (Supt Jacqueline Whittred) also 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.
We are working to support more female staff through promotions, at Chief Supt and Supt equivalent our Head of Estates, Director of Strategic Services Improvement Department, Head of Legal, Tactical Intelligence and Performance Manager and our review and Inspections Lead are all female.
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 three female applicants out of a total of 14 Bedfordshire Police applicants. This represented 27% of those who applied in Bedfordshire Police. None of the females were successful in the boards.
There were 6 female applicants in the Chief Inspector process out of a total of 17 Bedfordshire applicants. One female applicant passed which represents a third of those who passed the boards.
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 9.42%
The mean gender pay gap is 6.14%
Compared to the 2020/21 data, the mean pay gap has closed slightly and the median gender pay gap has narrowed by 3.07%
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 2.81% and for police officers is 13.23%.
The mean pay gap for staff is 7.32% and for officers it is 3.77 %.
Compared to the 2020/21 data, the Staff mean pay gap has increased slightly, 0.44%, and the median staff pay gap has also closed by 2.82%. The Officer only mean gender pay gap has increased slightly, 0.25%, and the median gender pay gap has also increased by 12.14%.
Employee Quartiles (Staff and Officers combined)
In this reporting year, there are some changes in the quartile breakdowns, and they are continuing to show a change in our profiling. The key changes are in the Q1 and Q3 profiles which are continuing to show an increase in female proportions. Q4 shows a 3.71% decrease in the female proportion.
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 forearms 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.
In 21/22 we gave £600 to all Detectives and Detective Sergeants in detective roles and £250 to all tutors that had tutored over an agreed amount of the year in the form of a TVP.
Bonuses- Staff and officers combined.
The median bonus gender pay gap has remained 0%.
The mean bonus gender pay gap has increased again from 18.28% in 2019/20 to 19.48% in 2020/21 to 37.19% in this reporting year.
Number of Recipients
% of males and females who received a bonus
The officer bonus median pay gap has remained at 0% and the officer only mean bonus pay gap has grown significantly by 13.21%.
The staff bonus median pay gap is now 0% and the mean bonus staff pay gap and is now 36.04% which is an increase of 71.25% for the last reporting year.
Summary and key activities
Bedfordshire continues with the work already established to achieve a diverse workforce but recognises that there is always more that can be done. Our, Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) strategy sets out the Force vision and objectives going forward, and we have a dedicated team supporting this across our workforce. It is our intention to continue our ongoing dialogue to better understand and overcome our barriers and to achieve an equal and representative work force at all levels. 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 in this teams. Particular areas continue to include specialisms such as the Dog and Firearms units. Female representation in these areas is a national issue and work continues to support an increase.
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. We have seen an increase in female officer recruitment, with 41.5% of the new officers being female. This is well above the National Average of 32.3%.
Through better data collection we will also understand the composition of gender pay in relation to ethnicity and the nine protected characteristics.
Work continues to champion female development and progression including activity co-ordinated through the Bedfordshire Women’s Network including an annual conference in March each year to mark International Women’s Day. We also had representation at the British Association of Women in Policing conference and one of our female volunteers received a Volunteer of the Year Award in June 2022.