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GoCardless Gender Pay Gap Report 2020/21

Lena Tailor

By Lena TailorOct 20214 min read

Coming in new to the business very recently and into a role for which there has been much anticipation and excitement, it was really helpful for me, as one of the first tasks, to get deep into the data around gender pay. I've been impressed with how much curiosity there is about our progress and the level of transparency we want to provide the business as part of the internal communications approach. Putting the report together has given me a good insight into how we've changed as a business, where we've made progress but, most importantly, allows me to be considered, informed, and realistic in the journey ahead to make progress on the overall D&I agenda.

What is the gender pay gap?

The gender pay gap is a UK government initiative designed to measure the average pay for men and women, irrespective of their roles, to help reduce the difference. Since changes were made to the Equality Act in April 2017, companies with more than 250 employees have had to report a series of figures annually, as a snapshot of the previous year’s data. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, companies were granted an extension on reporting, which is why our GoCardless gender pay gap report provides an overview of both 2020 and 2021 data. 

In our report, gender definitions are based on current legal definitions and collection requirements. However, we recognise that not everyone’s gender identity fits within this binary, and not everyone is yet legally able to be defined as the gender that they would like to be. In the future, we’d like this report to be a more inclusive representation. 

What is the difference between the gender pay gap and equal pay?

The gender pay gap is the difference between the average (mean or median) earnings of men and women across a workforce. - GOV.UK 2021

The gender pay gap report is not a measure of equal pay - which is a legal requirement to pay people performing an equal job at equal pay (Equality Act 2010). The gender pay gap, whilst also about pay, highlights the types of roles men and women hold in an organisation and is used to analyse whether there is an imbalance of genders at senior level or in high-demand roles such as engineering. 

We want GoCardless to be a diverse, inclusive and fair workplace for all. One of the four core values that GoCardless is built on is ‘act with integrity’ - sharing our pay gap data helps to keep us accountable, both internally and externally, for the progress we're making on improving gender equality. Research shows that teams with better gender equality are happier; they have higher productivity, more job satisfaction and lower turnover. This is the environment that we want within GoCardless, and we are committed to increasing the representation of gender and other underrepresented groups, at all levels, and in all areas of our business. 

The GoCardless UK gender pay gap for 2020 and 2021

Since our last report in April 2019, we have more than doubled in size and grown by 274 people in the UK alone. The significant growth of our London teams will have a direct impact on this report. 

During this period of growth, we have placed a strong focus on our recruiting practices. In 2021 alone we have boosted the number of females by 118 globally (103 in the UK), which accounts for 55% of the global growth. Our overall percentage of women in the business has increased since 2019 by six percentage points to become 43% females vs 57% males. This change is starting to be reflected in our data as we hire more women into senior leadership roles at GoCardless. 

The table below shows the 5 April snapshots of pay over the past three years. 

As you can see above, as of 2021 GoCardless has a mean pay gap of 34.9% and a median pay gap of 19.9%, both showing a downward trend since 2019 with the median pay gap dropping significantly. We have also increased the proportion of women in our leadership population from 16% to 28% since 2019 and, as a result of focusing on recruiting female talent in senior roles, we are pleased to see that the hourly pay gaps have been slowly reducing. This is further supported by the increase in the percentage of women in the top two quartiles and a decrease of women in the lower quartile. 

Bonus Pay Gap

As part of the report, the UK Government asks us to publish the same figures for bonuses, as these are kept separate from the pay gap data. 

We have a small number of bonus schemes and eligibility for most schemes, including sales commission and senior leadership bonuses, is driven by role to make sure employees in the same role have the same bonus opportunity. As a relatively small number of people receive a bonus, there is a level of volatility year on year.

GoCardless has a mean bonus pay gap of 53.2% and a median bonus pay gap of 58.8%. Over 2020 and 2021, on average, 60% of bonuses paid were for our commissioned population which is currently majoritively male. While there is work to do to bring greater balance in this area, the good news is that the proportion of women receiving bonuses is increasing as we hire more women across the business. In our sales team, the proportion of females has increased from 13% in 2019 to 26% in 2021. 

What we’re doing to close the gender pay gap

We are fully aware that we are underperforming in comparison to our sector (mean gap of 21.7%). This isn’t something that we are going to shy away from, we want to do better and step up the pace of our efforts. 

I have been hired as GoCardless’ first Director of Diversity & Inclusion and my role will be to work with the executive team and Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) to define clear D&I targets that GoCardless will commit to achieving over the next three years, and to develop a structured roadmap of initiatives aligned with those targets. I will also work to make diversity and inclusion inherent in how we do business and for everyone at GoCardless, inspiring employees to make big and small changes to build more diverse and inclusive environments everywhere.

Currently, we are starting work on the following: 

  1. Hiring practices: further standardisation of the process to remove bias and increase organisation capability. 

  2. Talent development strategy: establishing a more transparent framework for how we grow and develop talent in a scaling organisation. 

  3. Reward communications: working to improve our communications to provide employees and candidates with greater clarity on GoCardless reward opportunities. 

Read the full report

We are committed to strengthening the diversity of our talent base and attracting the best people from all walks of life, as well as building a place where people feel like they belong and can thrive. We have shared the results of our gender pay gap report internally with our colleagues, detailing our next steps and the actions we’re aiming to take. If you would like to find out more about our plans, then you can read the full report here.

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