Gender Pay Reporting

We are pleased to report our Gender Pay Gap results for 2021.  This is the fifth year of reporting in accordance with UK Government requirements.  We have wholly embraced the new reporting regulations and believe firmly in providing equal opportunities regardless of gender age, race, sexual orientation or disability.

We believe the diversity of our people strengthens our judgement, independence and decision making. We also know that attracting a more diverse workforce widens our pool of talent which is key for our succession planning and sustainable growth. Our commitment is backed by our Diversity & Inclusion Policy.

The results will demonstrate that our gender pay gap has improved.  In 2020, in line with the reporting guidelines all employees who were furloughed were excluded from the calculation (but not the gender bonus gap calculation).   It should be noted therefore that as a consequence, it is difficult to make a meaningful comparisons with 2020.

Our current employee population reflects the traditional nature of our industry across all diversity characteristics. We recognise the challenge we face, with 85% of roles being occupied by men and this being most notable within factory based production and engineering roles.  Our office based population have a more even split of male and female employees including a higher representation of women in customer service and Human Resources roles.

We continue to make changes and progress aimed at improving the number of women we have across the business. Specifically in 2021 we have:

  • Trialled ways to better support women returning from maternity
  • Continued to support and enable home working with remote working equipment and software fortuitously rolled out just prior to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Driven an increased focus on gender through our recruitment processes, ensuring we build diverse short lists and remove the potential for unconscious bias
  • Hosted internal events for all colleagues that are aimed at better highlighting the challenges faced by women

Events over the past two years have raised the significance and awareness of the social divides that exist in the UK for the general public but also for our leaders, our colleagues and our stakeholders.  In tandem, we have witnessed the blurring of work and home life boundaries in a previously unforeseen way.  We have found that our shared experience of the covid-19 pandemic has reinforced the value of an inclusive corporate culture.  We continue to have a greater awareness of our role and commitment to evolving our culture to be more inclusive and shift the dial on diversity in Forticrete and in our sector in the coming years.

What impacts the pay and bonus gap at Forticrete?

Manufacturing and the Building Materials industries continue to face a challenge in attracting more women into the sector. Forticrete Limited is no different in this regard. 

Due to the demographics of our workforce, there is an under-representation of women holding managerial and senior roles in production and in central functions, which is the main factor causing our mean and median pay gaps in favour of men.

Bonus pay gaps are impacted by the following factors:

  • The vast majority of our people are employed in production with the roles filled predominantly by men. At Forticrete Limited, the pay structure includes an element of weekly variable pay which is linked to the delivery of production targets.  This is captured in bonus pay. As a result, a higher proportion of male employees receive bonus compared to females (who on the whole are in salaried roles that have less variable pay elements).
  • Where women earn a bonus, it is earned based on company and personal performance, including women in senior management roles who participate in the management bonus scheme. This management bonus can contribute a significant proportion of overall pay and is of a higher amount than the weekly paid production bonuses. These factors result in a bonus gap in favour of women when looking in aggregate across the entire organisation.

It should be noted that for 2020 no annual bonus payments were paid which disproportionately impacts women since any bonuses paid would be production bonuses paid to a mostly male manufacturing colleagues.

Forticrete Limited’s gender pay gap 2021

We recognise that this is an agenda that will require continued focus. We are pleased to report however that our mean gender pay gap of 7% is lower than the national average of 15.5% (ONS 2020) and reflects our commitment to eliminate any gap within our organisation. We are committed to regular analysis, monitoring and continuing work to remedy the gap that does exist, however recognise that our ability to do so is now largely linked to our commitment to bring more women into our industry and organisation.

Taking action

At Forticrete we are committed to providing equal opportunities and increasing the diversity of our workforce. During 2021 we put a number of initiatives in place that will start to deliver change as we move forward. A summary of those most notable can be found below:

 

Policy and Practices

Practical support for those returning from maternity leave

During 2021 we have trialled coaching for female Factory Managers who returned from maternity leave. The coaching is designed to strengthen the participant’s leadership, presence and personal purpose and help them find a sense of balance of juggling a successful career with parenthood. After a successful pilot we will be taking the opportunity to support more returning mothers

Encouraging a more agile and family friendly approach to work

Covid 19 proved that a number of our office based roles could be undertaken effectively from home. Whilst we believe there will always be a need to meet in an office environment to collaborate, we are moving to a hybrid working model which allows employees to better meet their work and personal commitments 

Recruitment and Brand

Taking targeted action through recruitment

We are taking action to ensure our recruitment short lists are diverse, and we are taking steps to remove the potential for unconscious bias, including blind cv’s.

Training our leaders

In 2021 we begun the process of training our Senior leadership team on the importance of diversity and inclusion, and this will continue into 2022

Partnering with organisations who promote our roles to an exclusive audience of women

We continue to partner with organisations who can raise the share our vacancies reaching a female audience.

 

Developing Apprentice, Technical and Managerial Role

Expanding our Group Engineering Apprenticeship Scheme with a focus on recruiting women

 

We are proud of our early careers offering, and in particular our apprenticeships scheme. We continue to take action to attract diverse candidates to the scheme, including more females.

Promoting Engineering and Technical roles to girls at Schools

During 2021 we began the process of building connections with education establishments, to better support the understanding of the early careers available within Forticrete. This is something we will look to progress further on an ongoing basis, and will aim to support a great interest in STEM subjects and the benefits of a career in engineering / ceramics.

Networking

Hosting a Women in Business networking event for our female colleagues

During 2021, we hosted a number of online workshops and networking events for our colleagues that are focused on issues faced by women.

Factory design

Ensuring we optimise our approach to new factory builds to create an environment attractive to diverse employees

The investments in our Atlas and Nostell facilities are being reviewed through the lens of diversity and inclusion, ensuring that all aspects of their development support the attraction and retention of a diverse workforce

 

Whilst proud of the progress we are making, we recognise there is still much to do. It will take a long-term commitment to significantly change the make-up of our workforce – and of the manufacturing sector. We will continue to drive these efforts to make Forticrete a diverse employer of choice.

 

Joanne Hodge
Human Resources Director

Previous Gender Pay Reports