West Midlands Fire Service gender pay gap at lowest level yet

Gender pay gap recorded at lowest level since records began

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Published on 12 July 2023

West Midlands Fire Service (WMFS) has recorded its lowest gender pay gap since records started in 2017.  
 
In March 2022, the difference for average earnings for men and women at WMFS stood at 6.8 per cent. Figures just released for March 2023 show a drop to 6.1 per cent.  
 
The publication of pay gap figures based on ethnicity is not a statutory requirement. However, WMFS has been analysing this data for a number of years. 
 
The difference between the average hourly rate of pay for white employees and colleagues from a black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) background has seen a positive move, from five per cent in 2022 to 4.7 per cent in 2023.

Kelly Harding, WMFS’s Head of People Support, said: “West Midlands Fire Service is committed to making sure that our workforce accurately reflects the diverse communities we serveWe’re very pleased to see progress and reductions in both our gender and ethnicity pay gaps.  

We are extremely proud to be the UK’s Most Inclusive Employer. However, as we continue our journey, there will always be more for us to do. 
 
WMFS is currently undertaking a 10-week public consultation exercise, which includes a question to help understand any barriers to someone wanting to join the service. Work is also underway to review recruitment attraction channels.  
 
Projects focused on existing employees include the development of career pathways within the service, and looking at potential barriers to career progression.  
 
The service is also developing its pay gap data reporting, to better understand how someone’s protected characteristics (gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, etc) might combine to impact what they are paid. 

A line of trainee firefighters stand to attention in uniform