UK Gender Pay Gap 2021

In line with the UK Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017 in force from April 2017 onwards, companies in the UK with over 250 employees are required to annually disclose their gender pay gap.

Here we fulfil the statutory requirements, as well as provide relevant context along with our approach to closing the underlying gap.

Pay and Bonus Gap 2021

Difference between men and women
Mean Median
Pay Gap 23.5% 20.3%
Bonus Gap 47.6% 38.1%

The table above shows the mean1 and median2 pay and bonus gaps for our employees in the UK, as of 5 April 2021*.

The main driver for the increase in the gender pay gap from 2020 to 2021 was due to two senior female appointments (one fixed term contract and a permanent hire who was with the business for only 10 months) in 2020, who have subsequently left. This means the 5.1% reduction from 2019 to 2020 was inflated. In addition, the 2020 bonus gap was skewed due to transaction and retention bonuses related to the Apollo acquisition, paid in 2020 (predominantly to senior male employees).  If we were to therefore exclude 2020 from our trend, 2019 to 2021 shows an improvement across all 4 measures with mean and median pay gap reductions of 1.5% and 0.8% and bonus gap reductions of 8.9% and 16% respectively.

Percentage receiving a bonus

Males – 91.2% Females – 89.3%

Pay Distribution Across Quartiles

When reviewing our gender pay gap in the UK, we draw up a list of our employees’ earnings – from the highest to the lowest – and split this into four equally-sized groups, or quartiles. This allows us to calculate the proportion of men and women in each quartile. The chart below illustrates the gender distribution within Aspen’s UK business across these four quartiles.

Gender Pay gap report

Our work on closing the gender pay gap

We know that our gender pay gap is driven by a gender imbalance in the most senior roles, and that addressing this will take time and focus.

We have therefore built a robust governance infrastructure for our diversity and inclusion work, that includes strong and active sponsorship from our Executive Committee and a clear, evidence-based project plan which is underpinned by data.

We tie our activity to three pillars:

  • Attracting diverse talent
  • Building diverse talent
  • Building inclusion

In our 2020 report, we set out a range of actions that we were planning for the following 12 months to help us address the underlying causes of our gender pay gap.  We are pleased that we’ve been able to make excellent progress against all these initiatives:

Our D&I pillar 2021 objectives Progress
Attracting diverse talent Review our recruitment practices ·  We have reviewed the guidance on creating role profiles to avoid narrowing our candidate pool with unnecessary requirements

·  We refreshed our Fair Recruitment Toolkit, which provides managers with simple to use guidance on making evidence-based decisions at shortlisting and interview

Attracting diverse talent Launch our refreshed graduate programme · We worked with partners who are experts in targeting diverse graduates, and in 2021 60% of our graduate intake were women.  We are making diversity a key criterion again in 2022.
Building diverse talent Create Breakthrough, a new female sponsorship programme · We launched Breakthrough, with participants sponsored by members of our global ExCo.  2 of the group have gone on to receive internal promotions.  We are building on the successes of the programme with a new group in 2022.
Building inclusion Establish Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) for gender · In 2021 we put the building blocks for our gender ERGs in place by creating strong governance, terms of reference and senior sponsorship that drew on global best practice.  We recruited outstanding chairs and now have achieved our goal of establishing active Gender ERGs in the UK and globally.
Attract diverse talent

Build diverse talent

Build inclusion

Introduce Training and learning for managers · We created practical manager training to drive out bias in the key decision-making moments in an employee’s journey – recruitment and performance management – and tested this with our people.  We will continue to roll this out in 2022.

In addition to those steps outlined above, we have also implemented other activities which are designed to attract diverse talent, build diverse talent and build inclusion:

  • Ran diversity and inclusion training sessions with our Group Executive Committee
  • Established a 6-monthly D&I data report which is scrutinised by our Executive Committee, which includes goals on further strengthening our data and monitoring improvements in key indicators.
  • Held virtual Q&A events in which Executive Committee members, colleagues and external experts talked openly about the challenges women face in the industry, allyship, and how to have honest, thoughtful conversations about diversity
  • Reviewed and refreshed our performance management methodology to ensure we have a clear definition of high potential, and a rounded process to identify it right across our employee population. This measure ensures we do not inadvertently overlook high potential women who may be at the start of their careers or in more junior roles.
  • Piloted a reverse mentoring programme, in which 2 senior leaders are mentored by small groups of colleagues, including women, who share their lived experience

Although we believe we have put strong foundations in place to make progress to build an increasingly diverse and inclusive business, we know that we need a combination of short-, medium- and long-term actions to ensure we make progress.

In 2022 our emphasis will therefore be on embedding the work we have started, and monitoring impact of our initiatives.  Our activities will focus on:

  • Maintain momentum with our graduate, sponsorship and reverse mentoring programmes
  • Roll out training for managers on making evidence-based decisions during hiring and performance management processes
  • Continuing to build our diversity data and use it to inform our areas of focus
  • Set our employee resource groups up for success, supporting them to build sustainable networks that will allow us to better understand the experience of female employees.
  • Ensure women returning from maternity/adoption leave receive good support
  • Demonstrate to potential female applicants that we are serious about diversity and inclusion, and that they can build strong careers at Aspen

1Mean is equivalent to Average

2A median involves listing all the numbers in numerical order. If there is an odd number of results, the median is the middle number. If there is an even number of results, the median will be the mean of the two central numbers.