Building a diverse workforce at Sense

For the third year in a row, Sense does not have a gender pay gap: the average hourly pay for men and women is the same. This International Women’s Day, Emma Evans, who heads up our people team at Sense, explains why it’s important and why we’re not stopping there.

Diversity is key

Diversity isn’t just about numbers on a page or statistics. It’s at the heart of the work we do.

If the people who work at Sense aren’t reflective of the society we live in, how can we give the people we support the best possible outcomes? How can we understand their needs? If we’re not diverse, how can we build trust with our supporters and the people that need us to be there for them?

So I’m encouraged to see that this is our third year of reporting no median pay gap, despite growing our workforce. It’s a useful measurement that we are on the right track.

This hasn’t just happened accidentally. We modernised our reward strategy and embedded diversity into our strategy back in 2018. Over time, we’ve developed fairer, simpler processes for job bandings and salaries and prioritised pay for our key workers, particularly when the pandemic began and as the cost of living crisis struck.

But by itself, our lack of gender pay gap is not enough to deliver the equal, diverse and inclusive workplace we strive for. We need to do more.

Disability and ethnicity pay gaps

We don’t have a disability pay gap, but we do need to increase the number of disabled people in our workforce.

And we have a small ethnic minority pay gap of 2.5%, mainly due to a smaller proportion of ethnic minority employees in more senior roles at Sense.

Equality is now a key enabler in our strategy and we’ve employed dedicated people to move our ambitious agenda along. And we’ve also:

  • Made our hiring processes more inclusive.
  • Invested in new systems which will give us better diversity data about employees.
  • Worked with the Business Disability Forum to track progress on supporting disabled employees at work.
  • Created a dedicated programme to support more ethnic minority employees into management roles.
  • Provided more coaching, mentoring and shadowing opportunities.

It’s important that everyone works on these issues collectively to make a change. So, we also run networks, dedicated spaces for our people to share ideas, voice opinions and build peer networks. They play a huge role in making Sense a more inclusive, more diverse and more accessible organisation.

Together, we will build on the progress we’ve made so far.

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