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RPS reveals 12% median ethnicity pay gap as of April 2020

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has reported an 11.7% median ethnicity pay gap and a 14.7% median gender pay gap, as of April 2020.

Royal Pharmaceutical Society

Source: Royal Pharmaceutical Society

Paul Bennett, chief executive of the RPS, said that both the gender pay gap and the ethnicity pay gap were disappointing

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has reported a median pay gap of 11.7% between employees from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) groups and their white counterparts as of April 2020.

This was the first time the RPS’s pay gap data, published on 19 June 2020, included an analysis of the pay gap by ethnicity.

In September 2019, The Pharmaceutical Journal reported an ethnicity pay gap of 3.8% among the general population, and a 15.8% ethnicity pay gap between white and BAME pharmacists.

The RPS noted that its ethnicity pay gap “is below the 21.7% white/BAME pay gap in London, where most of our employees are based”. 

Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that the ethnicity pay gap varies across Great Britain, with the widest gap seen in London.

However, the Society said it will “continue to monitor BAME pay and representation at all levels within RPS and work to improve this”, including using pay benchmarking as part of annual pay reviews.

The RPS also said it will encourage a diverse range of mentors, particularly people from BAME backgrounds, people who are LGBTQ+ or who have a disability, “to help our senior leaders develop new ways of thinking”; and is committed to “reviewing our recruitment processes to ensure that we’ve done everything we can to be fair and inclusive”.

The pay gap data also revealed a median gender pay gap of 14.7% as of April 2020.

This is a slight increase compared with the previous year’s figure of 13.1%, although it remains lower than the national median gap of 17.3%.

The Society acknowledged that this was “a cause for concern”.

“We know that some of this fluctuation stems from the small number of men employed at RPS — 77 of 209 employees — so that even one male appointment at senior level could affect male median pay by one or two percent,” they said.

“However, we’re not satisfied with the current position and are committed to improving it.”

Paul Bennett, chief executive of the RPS, told The Pharmaceutical Journal he was “disappointed with the both the gender pay gap analysis result and the ethnicity pay gap analysis result, because we have already taken significant action, but it’s clearly not having the traction I would want to see”.

“This [is] the first time that we’ve done the analysis on our ethnicity pay gap, so that now gives us a benchmark from which to work,” he said, adding that the Society is “going to work really hard to try to address that”.

“But the work on gender pay gap, which we started back in 2018, has at least given us the opportunity to track our progress,” he continued.

“Our pay benchmarking adjustments have had a positive impact, creating a level playing field between men and women in lower paid roles.

“However, we still have more work to do as we recruit people into more senior roles to ensure they are accessible and welcoming to women and people from BAME backgrounds.”

Bennett said the RPS will “be working with our staff forum, People Team and our internal inclusion and diversity group to build an action plan for our people, which we’ll share with them later this year”.

As the Society employs fewer than 250 people, it is not obliged to report its gender pay gap, but Bennet said doing so is “simply the right thing for us to do”. 

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2020.20208085

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