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Gender pay gap figures 2019


StepChange Debt Charity gender pay gap report

Foreword from Sian Evans, Director of Human Resources

Problem debt is a growing issue for many families throughout the UK. At StepChange Debt Charity we rise to the challenge by providing direct support to clients, working closely with our partners and influencing policymakers at the highest level. We are proud that as a “critical service” during the coronavirus crisis, our colleagues were deemed to be key workers. We seek to provide a fair and supportive working environment for all.

Diversity and inclusion of the best talent, irrespective of gender and other characteristics, underpins our Stepping Forward four-year strategy. We believe that every colleague contributes directly to our growth, success, increasing and improving the free support we provide to clients.


Benchmarking is a way to drive positive change and that’s why we support the government’s leadership in gender equality and the requirement for employers to publish their data.

Our ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion underpins the charity’s strategy; we believe that the purpose of the charity is best served by a diverse workforce that is representative of our clients and brings together a variety of perspectives, experience and thoughts.

Our gender pay gap is significantly lower than most organisations in the UK, and overwhelmingly lower than organisations operating in the same sector.

Highlights include our median pay approaching parity, median bonus at parity and, in 2019, the proportion of women receiving a bonus is now higher than for men for the first time.

Elsewhere, there have been some small increases reflecting specific circumstances and the natural variations resulting from running the charity. While it’s likely that the gender pay gap will fluctuate up as well as down over time, our ultimate commitment is to achieve a zero gender pay gap

We are not complacent and will continue to monitor our gender pay gap over time and take action, to meet our ultimate commitment of a zero gender pay gap.

Gender pay does not compare the pay and bonus for equivalent roles and is therefore distinct from Equal Pay for Work of Equivalent Value. We are confident that we have equal pay.

I confirm that our gender pay gap calculations are accurate and meet the requirements of the Regulations. The data has been produced in accordance with ACAS Guidance Managing Gender Pay Reporting, December 2019.

Sian Evans
Director of Human Resources

Our gender pay gap information can be found alongside other organisations on the government’s website. And you can read last year's report here.



Since April 2017, employers with 250 or more colleagues have been required by law to publish the pay gap between men and women.

The gender pay gap is the difference between the average earnings of all the men and women working in an organisation, irrespective of their role or seniority. As such, it provides a broad indication of how well organisations are seeking to achieve gender equality.

Gender pay is distinct from equal pay, which is the legal requirement that men and women in the same employment performing equal work must receive equal pay. We are confident that we have equal pay.

In line with the gender pay gap legislation, the pay gap and pay quartiles information is based on payments made through payroll in April 2019. The bonus information reflects payments received during the 12 months from 6th April 2018 to 5th April 2019.

The gender pay gap shows the differences between the means (in other words, the average), and the medians (which are the mid-points) of pay and bonus earnings of male and female colleagues, expressed as a percentage of male colleague’s earnings.

Pay gap

The following table summarises our gender pay gap based on the April 2019 payroll for 1,292 relevant colleagues within the charity.

For comparison, we have included the average figures for the UK and for those organisations classified as providing the same type of economic activity as StepChange (Financial intermediation). Note that the UK and sector equivalent figures for 2019 are not yet available; we'll update this page when they're published.

In comparison to men April 2019 April 2018

women's mean hourly rate is

9.8% lower


8.3% lower
(UK average 14.2%, Financial Intermediation average 27.1% lower)
women's median hourly rate is

0.7% lower


0.6% lower
(UK average 11.9% lower, Financial Intermediation average 23.9% lower)

Our pay gap continues to be smaller than most other organisations and significantly below those with a similar focus.

Our median pay is almost equal for men and women, and the median pay gap has remained broadly unchanged.

The small gaps in mean and median pay are due to the proportion of men and women in the highest pay quartile, documented in the following section. The proportion of women in technical IT roles that attract higher salaries has reduced for 2019, resulting in a small increase in both the mean and median figures compared with 2018.

We also believe that this year’s small increases reflect the natural variations resulting from running the charity. The gender pay calculation is a snapshot of pay at a point in time and ongoing recruitment activity will see the gender pay gap fluctuate, both up and down, over time.

Pay quartiles

Overall, of the 1,292 colleagues included in this analysis, 53% are female and 47% are male. This represents a reasonably balanced population and reflects the UK’s overall gender split (51% female and 49% male).

As in previous years, the proportion of women is higher in all quartiles except the highest quartile where the proportion of men is 58%.

We recognise that technical and more senior roles within the charity are more likely to require STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) qualifications and experience and that these, in turn, attract higher salaries. With fewer women than men graduating in STEM subjects this creates a less diverse candidate pool for us to recruit for these roles.

Bonus gap

All colleagues, except executive directors, were eligible for an annual bonus during 2019 if they met pre-defined criteria. The annual bonus for the year 2019 was paid to all eligible colleagues who had completed their probation period before the end of 2018.

In addition, 29 colleagues received a one-off bonus payment to aid colleague retention, or to recognise the role they played in the charity’s General Data Protection Regulation readiness activities.

Our bonus gap for the 12 months ending April 2019 is set out in the following table. We have also included the figures with the one-off bonuses removed, as this is a better representation of the charity as a whole. For comparison, we have included the average figures for the UK and for those organisations classified as providing the same type of economic activity as StepChange (Financial intermediation). Note that the UK and sector equivalent figures for 2019 are not yet available; we will update this page when they are published.

In comparison to men to April 2019 to April 2018

women's mean bonus pay is

24.0% lower

3.2% lower with one-off bonuses removed

9.5% lower

UK average 15.4% lower

Financial intermediation average 52.8% lower
women's median bonus pay is

0.0% equal

0.0% equal with one-off bonuses removed

17.3% lower

UK average 0.9% higher

Financial intermediation average 42.8% lower

Our median gap in bonus payments between men and women has reduced to zero, while the mean gap has grown since 2018.

The zero median bonus gap is a consequence of all eligible colleagues receiving the same annual bonus value, with no pro-rating.

The mean bonus gap is a result of the majority of the one-off retention or GDPR bonuses being paid to men. While the criteria for receiving these bonuses was not gender-specific and was based on aiding colleague retention or recognising the role colleagues in making the charity GDPR-compliant, the outcome was that 18 of the 29 payments were paid to men. If these one-off payments are removed, the mean gap falls to 3.2% and the median gap is unchanged at zero. The remaining mean gap is driven by the higher bonus payments for members of the Senior Leadership Team; a small majority of whom are male.

For 2020 we have introduced pro-rating, based on colleague service and working hours, for the annual bonus. This, in conjunction with the lack of one-off payments, should result in a lower bonus gap for both mean and median for 2020.

Proportion of colleagues receiving a bonus

More of our colleagues received a bonus during the year to April 2019 than in either of the previous two years. There is still a gap regarding the proportion of men and women who received a bonus but, for the first time, this now favours women:

The difference between the proportions of men and women receiving a bonus is a result of the annual bonus eligibility criteria; the annual bonus was paid to all eligible colleagues who had completed their probation period before the end of 2018 and a greater proportion of women than men were eligible.

Read the previous year's report