Cancer Research UK publishes gender pay gap report

Cancer Research UK has reduced its mean gender pay gap to 15%.

The figure, based on a snapshot of employee pay taken on 5 April 2020, represents a significant improvement. The report showed its average gender pay gap was down from 18.7% in 2019 – a drop of 3.7% percentage points overall.

The charity also revealed it had reached its target of having a minimum of 50% of women in its two most senior roles (director and executive director), while it had increased the proportion of women at director level by five percentage points to 57% in 2020 compared to 2019.

But according to Michelle Mitchell OBE, chief executive officer at Cancer Research UK, the data showed “we still have work to do”.

She said: “Our median gender pay gap increased from 23.3% in 2019 to 29.2% in 2020, which was influenced by our distribution of men and women across the charity in different roles.”

Mitchell also clarified that despite the charity revealing its mean ethnicity pay gap was -9.5% – meaning ethnic minorities are actually paid an average of 9.5% ‘more’ than white employees – this headline figure was potentially misleading.

She said: “We have a relatively small percentage of ethnic minority staff, and particularly at senior levels, so these numbers don’t tell the full story.”

Although this year’s gender and ethnicity gaps make mixed reading, Mitchell insisted the charity’s recently published Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy will ensure the charity continues to improve its gender and ethnicity pay gaps.

She said: “A critical part of our approach to equality, diversity and inclusion is accountability. We must be open about where we are now; how much more progress we must make; and where we have failed. Publishing our ethnicity pay gap report – for the first time this year – is part of that approach.”

In other findings, the pay gap report revealed 67% of staff receiving upper quartile pay were women. However, it also found 79% of those in the lowest pay quartile were women too.

It revealed the number of women in technology roles was 41% – more than double the UK average. It also announced retail bonuses represented 69% of all bonuses paid. Due to the high proportion of women (79%) in retail, a higher percentage of women received bonuses overall.