TWI is committed to treating all employees fairly and to being an inclusive employer. Our aim is to create a working environment where our employees can reach their full potential. We are putting Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) at the heart of our people practices so that we are able to attract, develop and retain the best talent.
The work we do at TWI plays a crucial role in shaping the world around us, interacting with our Members to find sustainable solutions to the biggest engineering challenges. TWI needs to reflect the society it serves, so that it can understand its needs, and harness the diversity within the employees, via inclusive practices, to find innovative solutions and create a workforce that is engaged and empowered to achieve to the best of their ability.
At TWI Ltd we make sure that employees in similar roles are being paid equitably. However, similar to other UK engineering organisations, we have a gender pay gap and the mean figure for this year's reporting date (April 2020) is 23.2%, (0.5% decrease from last year). Our gender pay gap is a reflection of the proportion of men and women in specific roles that attract higher pay, bonuses and allowances. TWI remains fully committed to our long-term aim to address our gender pay gap, as part of our wider diversity and inclusion plan, and have undertaken a number of actions since we published the 2018-2019 GPG report, which we outline in this year's report.
In the UK engineering profession, just 12% of employees are women and only 16% of engineering graduates in the UK are women. We recognise that overcoming the imbalance of women in engineering will require sustained investment at an early stage of education and TWI is actively seeking to develop and recruit early career, female engineers. TWI has continued to invest in outreach programmes that encourage STEM activities in schools, and we are particularly proud of our NSIRC programme - engaging graduate engineers to complete postgraduate studies in industry. 36% of TWI's current post-graduate students are women. During this reporting period, 25% of female NSIRC student recruits were women, and out of the 17 NSIRC graduates who completed their PhD in this reporting period, 29% were women. Of the 8 graduates recruited into jobs at TWI, 25% were women.
Data from the Royal Academy of Engineering shows that industry loses 57% of its female professional engineers under the age of 45 compared to 17% of male engineers. Hence, TWI recognises that retention and progression of female engineers in the workforce are critical issues to address across the profession.
Since the last reporting year, we have built upon a previous investigation into the working culture at TWI, which provided insight and focus to drive our Diversity and Inclusion programme. We are continuing to work with our employees to improve and implement policies that encourage and recognise the value of diversity and enable career development whilst allowing for flexible working. We have also launched a 'Living our Values' campaign in which we aim to bring each of our six values to life by examining the behaviours that underpin each of these values and illustrating how they deliver value to our Members and our business, through use of interactive focus groups. All employees have an opportunity to shape and contribute to this programme.
We recognise that there are still areas where improvements can be made in order to significantly close the Gender Pay Gap. We remain committed to achieving positive change in the long term and we are confident that our Diversity and Inclusion plan will enable us to continue reducing our Gender Pay Gap as well as improving day to day business practices.
I can confirm that the data and information reported as of 31 March 2021 are accurate.
See our gender equality plan here:
Gender Equality Plan
Gender Pay Gap (GPG) Reporting
Under legislation brought into force in April 2017, UK employers with more than 250 employees are required to publish their Gender Pay Gap (GPG). We are now in our fourth year of publishing data. This report is based on our UK employees and is an analysis of a data cut from April 2020.
Gender Pay Gap (GPG) is distinct from equal pay. Equal pay deals with the pay differences between men and women who carry out work of similar value, whereas gender pay shows the differences in the average pay between men and women. The following GPG analysis shows the differences in the average pay between men and women across all UK employees at TWI, irrespective of their responsibilities, performance and experience.
TWI carries out a separate pay review on an annual basis, to ensure men and women within the company, with the same performance and experience in equivalent roles, are paid equally.
The Difference between the Hourly Pay of Women and Men at TWI
Our figures for the reference pay period (April 2019 to April 2020) show that when we compare the average pay of women and men, irrespective of the role, men earn on average 23.2% more than women.
The table below outlines the mean difference in hourly pay between men and women within this reporting period:
+/- percentage differential
Mean percentage by which men earn more than women
The mean gender pay gap across our UK business reduced by 0.5% from the previous year.
Although we recognise the reduction in the mean gender pay gap for hourly pay is small, improvements have been made with an increase of 5% in the proportion of females at leadership level during the reporting period (from 13 to 18%), in line with our commitment to have one third of leadership positions to be held by women by 2025.
The reasons for the differences in hourly pay between men and women include:
- During this reporting period our female Director of Finance retired and her position was filled by a male counterpart meaning there was no female representation at Director level for the majority of the reporting period. However, a female Director of Finance was appointed in 2021.
- There are fewer women than men in leadership roles, i.e. the executive team, senior management, senior business development and senior specialists (see graph below: Gender by Group).
- There are more women than men in support roles.
- During this reporting period, women made up 43%, whilst men made up 57% of the working population at TWI. The Technology Group employed fewer women than men as engineering professionals (19.8% and 80.2% respectively). Nationwide, women remain more under-represented in engineering; only 12% of engineering professionals are female compared with an overall UK female workforce of 47% (Engineering UK).
- The investment TWI is making in recruiting women at the entrant's stage, particularly from the NSIRC programme, will increase the disparity in the percentage gender pay gap in the short term. However, we will see a closure in this gap as more women progress into senior roles.
Our Commitment to Increase Gender Diversity in Leadership Roles at TWI
The charts below show that, within all job profiles across UK employees, there were fewer women than men in the upper quartile. However there has been an increase in female representation in the lower middle quartile and the upper middle quartile.
Overall, women represented 43% of TWI's UK employees. The Company has identified that it has a gap in female representation within engineering/technology positions, especially in engineering leadership positions. Female representation of our engineers/technologists, i.e. Project Leaders (PLs) 28%, Senior Project Leaders (SPLS) 27% and Principal Project Leaders (PPLs) 27%, represents just under one 3rd of these job profiles. This is not reflected in our leadership roles. However, during this reporting period, the representation of women in technology leadership positons increased by 7% (to 20% women, 80% men).
We recognise a need to focus on not only recruiting female engineers at TWI, but also retaining and progressing those women into leadership positions and this is something we have worked hard to achieve since the last report and our commitment to improve this further is ongoing. A particular challenge exists in relation to parental career breaks.
The charts below show how women and men are represented by Job profile within TWI.
To help us achieve our objective to reduce the gender pay gap and increase gender diversity at leadership level, we have set a target to have a third of our leadership roles filled by women by 2025. Leadership is defined as Team Leader level and above.
The Difference in Bonuses between Women and Men at TWI
During the reference pay period for this report (the 12 months preceding 5 April 2020), Share-in-Success bonuses were not paid. However, there were a number of ad-hoc performance bonuses awarded. These are given to reward exceptional performance, e.g. successful competition of key projects, winning of new business, leadership of high performing profit centres or contributing to the growth of TWI's reputation.
The figures below outline the mean and median difference in bonus pay between men and women within this reporting period:
11.2% of the male workforce compared to 9.6% of female workforce received ad-hoc bonuses during this reporting period. The difference in bonuses between men and women reflects the fact that there is a higher proportion of men holding roles that are measured by financial contributions of profit or turnover.
Progress with our Action Plan during 2019 - 20
Addressing the Gender Balance from the Top
TWI has reviewed the gender balance at the governance level of the organisation. From the founding of the organisation in 1946 until 2017, there was no female representation on the governing Council. In 2017, we proactively recruited 2 women (and 15 men) into positions on Council and in 2018 we increased that number to 3 women (and 24 men) on Council during this reporting period. This gave 11% female representation on Council, the highest in TWI's history. While the percentage has not increased since the last reporting period, we actively encourage applications from women and anticipate that female representation on Council will continue to increase. Our enabling target is to continue to widen the female applicant pool.
Mentoring Programme for Women
Since the last reporting period the 'Inspiring Women Leaders' programme commenced in November 2019, with the aim of equipping women with the self-awareness and tools to increase confidence, identify 'big picture' opportunities, seek advancement by taking on more responsibilities and ultimately to gain earned promotion.
We have now had three cohorts of women begin this programme, the first two cohorts began the programme before the pandemic and a further group have since started remotely.
The feedback received for this programme has been extremely positive and 15% of women attending the course have been promoted since the course started in 2019.
Encouraging more Women into Science, Technology and Engineering Careers through Outreach Initiatives / NSRIC
Under-representation of women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects during education is a limiting factor on gender representation across the Engineering industry. According to a 2020 report from the Royal Academy of Engineering, in 2015-16, 15.6% of first degree graduates in engineering were female and at April 2018, only 9.3% of women were represented across the engineering workforce. Two of the four key learnings from the report were; '(1) students from underrepresented groups need active encouragement and social capital to increase success in accessing engineering employment and (2) long-term, face-to-face intervention is necessary to promote relationships between students from underrepresented groups and employers in the sector to change both student and employer perceptions, behaviours and employment outcomes.' A 2020 report from Engineering UK further highlighted that women made up just one in 5 of all engineering and technology career entrants between 2018 and 2019.
TWI has invested in STEM education and outreach for over 15 years and are pleased to support and provide a number of outreach activities and networking opportunities for women.
During the reporting period, TWI delivered a number of outreach activities and workshops to schools and Universities. In 2019 to 2020, TWI's outreach and educational initiatives included the following:
- 1:1 mentoring sessions for University students studying associated STEM disciplines
- Acting as facilitators to conduct mock interviews with secondary school pupils interested in STEM careers
- Technical presentations to University students
- Delivery of talks at various careers fairs
- 24% of TWI apprenticeship places are currently held by women
- a programme to coach women in leadership; focused on development for women who aspire to move into senior management roles
- a scheme to support maternity/paternity returners to work through a group of volunteers who share valuable experience and offer advice and support
- summer placements and internships at TWI recognising that these individuals may be employees of the future (65% of places were offered to women during the reporting period, an increase of 15%)
- The TWI outreach team delivered a comprehensive work experience programme, providing a taster of the diverse work involved in engineering at TWI (11% places were offered to girls during this reporting period).
- The TWI outreach team continued to attend primary and secondary school lessons, to deliver sessions to raise awareness of careers in engineering during the reporting period.
We are proud of our flagship National Structural Integrity Research Centre (NSIRC) programme (www.nsirc.com), engaging a diverse group of engineers to complete postgraduate studies in industry, and 36% of TWI's current post-graduate students are women, compared to an average of 31% since the opening of NSIRC in 2013. During this reporting period, we recruited 8 NSIRC graduates into jobs at TWI, 25% of whom were women, compared to an average of 21% since 2013.
Review of Our Recruitment Practices in 2019 - 20
Since the last reporting period, we have continued our commitment to fair and transparent recruitment practices which include:
- Interview panels are required to include a gender mix in at least one stage of the interview process.
- Job adverts have continued to be checked with a gender decoder tool to ensure that they do not include any unconscious biases that could potentially discourage applicants.
- Our training for recruiting managers includes a module on unconscious bias.
To continue our commitment to narrowing our Gender Pay Gap and achieving our target of having a third of women in senior positions by the end of 2025 we will:
- Continue to focus on ensuring there is no bias involved in the recruitment, promotion, development and retention of women within TWI.
- Continue to increase the number of women in the pipeline to work at TWI, with a focus on their development within the company. This will help us to achieve a greater representation of women in senior management and leadership roles as well as senior business development and specialist roles.
- Continue to develop a range of initiatives, programmes and policies to improve diversity and inclusion and enable women to fulfil their career aspirations.
A Review of the Working Culture at TWI
As a global company with a far-reaching geographic footprint, TWI is dedicated to increasing all areas of diversity. Operating in 8 countries worldwide, diversity and inclusion are fundamental if we are to realise the full potential of our training and engineering businesses and ensure we deliver leading, expert knowledge to our customers around the world.
We have recently strengthened our commitment to diversity and inclusion and have embedded our D&I programme into our 5-year corporate strategy. We are dedicated to creating a safe and inclusive workplace for all staff irrespective of gender, ability, generation / generation gap, sexual orientation or race. This includes fair career development and performance management and the creation of a more diverse and representative Council.
Equality, Diversity & Inclusion training will be rolled out to our 800+ employees by the end of 2021 to improve understanding around Diversity & Inclusion and respecting differences in the workplace. All employees will also undertake an Insights Discovery psychometric assessment, so we are better informed to understand the differences in behaviour of our peers.
Plans for 2021
Our plans for 2021 include new initiatives, as well as continuing to build upon progress that has already been made:
- The Diversity & Inclusion Working Group has developed TWI's diversity and inclusion plan, in collaboration with the Staff Consultative Committee and the Tipper Group. This includes the rollout of the 'Living our Values' and 'Values Recognition' campaigns.
- Continuing to support the development of a talent pipeline, to encourage more women into leadership and senior roles, including mentoring programmes to support development.
- Flexible working: The global Covid-19 pandemic presented organisations and their people with many challenges. With many of us taking on caring responsibilities alongside our day-to-day jobs, we needed to respond by making people's working hours as flexible as possible. Building on the benefits this freedom has offered our employees and the organisation over the past 12 months, we will be introducing a Flexible Working Policy in 2021.
- Continuous reviewing of our people practices to ensure they are aligned with TWI's goals and support our commitment to attract, develop and retain talented people regardless of gender. This includes and is not limited to our internal promotion process.
- Raising the profile of successful women at TWI to encourage role modelling.
- We support The Tipper Group (https://theweldinginstitute.com/member-benefits/the-tipper-group/), an employee group dedicated to helping underrepresented groups, including women, in their careers at TWI. The group regularly meet and host events to share learning experiences, increase education and understanding of D&I topics and raise the profile of TWI's D&I efforts externally. Recent webinars have had over 150 attendees, marking them as the most attended sessions in the history of the Group.
- We have created a new Diversity & Inclusion Lead position which will help us deliver our Diversity & Inclusion programme as part of our 5-year corporate strategy.
- TWI recruitment panels are now required to have a mix of genders - We have trained a pool of female volunteers who are available to participate in interview panels. Training includes developing awareness of unconscious bias in the recruitment process.
- Job adverts are now checked through a gender decoder tool to ensure that they do not have any unconscious bias that would discourage women applicants.
- We have redesigned and implemented training for recruiting managers incorporating a module on unconscious bias.
- We have changed the way we recruit members onto our Council by targeting our advertising to attract more female candidates to apply for positions.
- Continued support of our outreach programme to attract more women into science, technology, engineering and mathematics careers.
- We will be working with the Royal Academy of Engineering to gain access to their Graduate Engineering Engagement Programme (GEEP) when the next cohort begins in September 2021. This is an award-winning programme run in partnership with engineering employers, which aims to increase the transition of engineering graduates from diverse backgrounds into engineering employment. The Academy works with the Association for Black and Minority Ethnic Engineers (AFBE-UK) and the Women's Engineering Society (WES), who support GEEP recruitment by providing insightful speakers, mentors and much more.
- Benchmarking salaries with Mercer
- Developing a 'Return to Engineering' programme of refresher training following a career gap which was put on hold due to Covid19 in 2020.
We recognise the changes we are making will not lead to an immediate significant reduction of our GPG. However, we are committed to achieving positive change in the long term and our diversity and inclusion plan will assist us with driving progress. Our GPG results are a reminder that we have some way to go but we are encouraged by the progress we are making through our new initiatives and we will ensure that we continue to develop these to enable us to reduce the GPG over the coming years.