Slough Borough Council has published its annual Equality and Diversity report due to be discussed at Cabinet on 18 March.The council continues to demonstrate its commitment to diversity and inclusion for everyone.
The gender pay gap at the council has reduced from 12.5% in 2017 to 4.7% in 2018, with a dedicated action plan in place to achieve this. Although the pay gap figures are affected by internal structural changes, the council aims to further close the gap in future.
The council continues to be an attractive place for women to work, with three quarters of staff working part-time being female. As well as attracting a large number of female applicants across all job grades, the council continues to offer flexible and agile working, of huge benefit to those with caring responsibilities at home. However whilst the council employs more women than men, there is an under-representation of women in the most senior roles at the council, meaning men outnumber women in salary bands of more than £70,000.
The council’s workforce is still broadly representative of our town’s residents with 39% of the workforce being Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic, with this group being consistently represented across most salary bands. The council is continuing to receive applications from a diverse pool of applicants, and strives to encourage this.
The council has maintained the Disability Confident Employer status and now offers more practical support through the recruitment process. Seven per cent of the council’s employees identify as disabled and the council continues to support staff with disabilities in the workplace through its Employees with Disabilities Forum and HR.
Cllr James Swindlehurst, leader of the council, said: “'We are extremely proud that our already below average gender pay gap has reduced even further, and strive to promote equality and diversity for everyone. It’s great to see our workforce continues to be a reflection on the diversity of the town.”
Cllr Natasa Pantelic, cabinet member for health and social care, said: “I’m pleased we’re closing the gender pay gap, and hope to see more women applying for senior leadership positions in the council, as a result of some of the positive measures being brought in for staff including a new women’s network. Our flexible working arrangements will continue so that people can be as productive as possible and this is particularly important for women who usually shoulder the majority of caring responsibilities at home.
“This month’s International Women’s Day highlighted that women still have a way to go to achieve equality in Britain and around the world, but progress has been made at Slough Borough Council. This is important and we will work harder over the next year to close the gender pay gap further. I hope more women will come forward and go for senior leadership opportunities. I look forward to cheering them on!”