Gender Pay Gap

The Gender Pay Gap is a measure of the percentage difference between men’s and women’s average earnings (expressed as an hourly rate) across the organisation’s salary range.

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The Babraham Institute is world-renowned life sciences institute studying the fundamental biology of human development, health and ageing. The Institute holds charitable status and is committed to promoting and developing a culture of equality, diversity, inclusivity and mutual respect that supports our ambitions and attracts highly motivated and talented people from around the world.

The Institute continues to work to support equality, diversity and inclusivity (EDI) at the Institute and also as part of the Babraham Research Campus. Our work across EDI is coordinated by our equity4success (e4s) initiative. Previously called equality4success, the programme was renamed in 2023 to reflect our commitment to strive for equity: recognising and responding to individual differences and situations, rather than equality: providing the same opportunities or resources to everyone. From 2022-2024, the Institute continued to implement our extended e4s action plan. Objectives defined within this action plan reflect the Institute’s commitment to working towards reducing the gender pay gap by regular analysis of pay and promotion rates, and benchmarking. The Institute continues to explore new ways to embed EDI into all areas of the scientific ecosystem, including working with others to make faster, more effective progress.

Reporting our gender pay gap annually in line with current UK legislation allows us to track our progress in building a fair and diverse community that recognises and respects everyone.

Difference between pay and bonuses for men and women at the Babraham Institute – data from the 2023 data snapshot date and comparison figures for previous years.

  Mean [1] Median [2]
Hourly Fixed Pay (April 2023) 11.12% 2.87% 
Hourly Fixed Pay (April 2022) 14.22% 6.95% 
Hourly Fixed Pay (April 2021) 13.72% 3.99% 
Bonus Pay (April 2023)  79.25% 35% 
Bonus Pay (April 2022)  72.34%  0.00% 
Bonus Pay (April 2021) 67.35%  0.00% 

[1] Mean: the percentage difference in average pay between male and female employees

[2] Median: the percentage difference in the middle value pay between male and female employees


The above table shows the Babraham Institute’s overall mean and median gender pay gap (based on hourly rates of pay for all employees) at the snapshot date (5th April 2023) and additional 2022 and 2021 data for comparison of previous figures. Archived reports are available for previous years 2021/2022, 2020/2021, 2019/2020, 2017/2018 and 2016/2017. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the requirement for reporting gender pay gap information on the 2019 snapshot date was waived but we included our 2019 data for the continuity of the data records.

The most recent pay analysis shows that the Institute’s gender pay gap has narrowed to a median difference of 2.87%, from a median difference of 6.95% in 2022 and before that, 3.99% in the 2021 analysis. Our 2022 reporting reasoned that a main factor responsible for the widening of the gender pay gap was changes in the ratio of female to male employees at lower pay levels as a result of staff turnover and recruitment. The impact of this is described in more detail in the 2021/2022 report. We are pleased to see the trajectory of the gender pay gap once again heading towards parity.

The table also shows the mean and median difference in bonuses paid to men and women in the year ending 5th April 2023. The bonus pay calculation represents the gender gap in performance related pay beyond standard pay increases plus bonuses paid to executive level employees.

The gender pay gap in relation to bonus data increased between the 2022 and 2023 reporting periods. We attribute this gap to a change in how bonuses are calculated. In the previous two years, bonuses were paid as a flat figure while the Institute operated under pandemic measures, whereas in 2023, bonuses were returned to being calculated as a percentage of salary as they had been previously. As in previous years, the data continues to be affected by how bonuses are awarded at the Institute. Typically, performance-related pay for employees below the top grades is consolidated into their basic pay whereas executive level staff receive non-consolidated performance bonuses. The gender pay gap in bonus pay persists because staff employed at the highest two pay bands are male and receive flat-figure bonuses in addition to consolidated performance-related pay awards for exceptional performance.

As illustrated by the charts shown below, a similar proportion of female and male employees received a bonus. In comparison to previous years, the proportion of employees overall who receive a performance-related pay award has fallen. This is due to bonus awards being paid only to employees rated as exceptional performers at their annual appraisal and to employees after completion of significant pieces of work.

A comparison of pie charts showing bonuses paid to female staff and bonuses paid to male staff. The data presented shows that 15 % of female staff received bonuses in the reporting period compared to 14% of male staff.

Pay Quartiles

The data below identifies the Babraham Institute’s gender distribution across the four equal quartiles (with each quartile containing 64 employees, apart from the first quartile which contains 63 employees). At the snapshot date of 5th April 2023 the gender split across Babraham Institute staff was 53% females compared to 47% males.

In comparison with the gender balance at the 2022 data capture, the gender split across roles in the first and second quartiles has moved towards a more even gender balance. Female-held roles have increased in the third quartile but decreased slightly in the fourth quartile. As more females hold roles falling within the third quartile, we are enthusiastic about seeing progression to the fourth quartile through role development which will help to improve the gender balance at higher executive levels.

In terms of the number of posts represented in the fourth quartile, the gender split is 28 female-held positions and 36 male-held positions.

A sequence of four doughnut charts representing the proportion of female and male staff in the four different quartile groupings. In the first (lowest paid) quartile, 44% of staff are male and 56% of staff are female. In the second quartile, 47% of staff are male and 53% are female.  In the third quartile, 42% of staff are male and 58% are female.  In the fourth (highest paid) quartile, 56% of staff are male and 44% are female.

Data on promotions and additional role-related pay

In the year preceding the snapshot date a total of 22 employees were promoted: 12 females and 10 males. To split the promotion awards by the two upper and lower quartiles, promotions affecting roles in the top two quartiles were awarded to 10 females and 7 males, and in the lower two quartiles were awarded to 2 females and 3 males.  

In terms of additional role-related pay, the Institute pays an additional amount in recognition of key citizenship contributions where these roles carry significant responsibility and involvement. These are:

  • membership of the Institute’s executive committee at Band 3 or below (seven females and one male),
  • chairing one of the Institute’s five strategic initiatives: Green Labs, Technician Commitment, e4s, Research Integrity, and Wellbeing (three females and two males),
  • chairing other key committees (two females and four males).


What we can identify from the data

We are pleased to see that the Institute is back on track to meet its commitment to closing the gender pay gap, returning to an expected trajectory after a widening of the gap in 2022. We remain committed to long-term change, equitable practices and sustained effort to make further progress. Our largest difference between male- and female-filled roles is now seen in our third quartile where more women hold roles at this level than men, and we expect that this will feed into our fourth quartile figures in the future, addressing the male dominance we see at the Institute’s highest roles. Across the organisation we remain confident that men and women are paid equally for equivalent level roles.

As a relatively small organisation, changes to a small number of roles in each quartile can translate to a notable difference in our reporting statistics. Also, changes in processes year on year sometimes make it difficult to compare numbers from report to report. In our analysis of these statistics we try to be as transparent as possible without overinterpreting possible causes and consequences of shifts in our staff base or evolution of processes.

How we are taking action

The Board of Trustees and Institute senior leadership remain committed to making progress and responding to our gender pay gap analysis and wider data. Our work in this area includes regularly monitoring gender pay and equal pay, minimising gender-biased actions in recruitment practices, assessing gender differences in the uptake of professional training and development opportunities, increasing transparency about our promotion processes, and identifying and addressing biases in how promotions are awarded. With this latest data showing a widening gender pay gap in relation to bonus data the Institute will look at this data carefully for the next snapshot date of 5th April 2024 and is planning a review of how bonuses are awarded.

To give specific examples of action taken to support career progression, the Institute’s Roving Researcher role continues to support research staff and technical teams in instances of long-term leave and we are proud to see this initiative adopted by other UK and European organisations. Following the relaunch of the Institute’s Personal Promotion scheme in April 2022, 10 people achieved a promotion through this route in the period April 2022-2023 (4 female, 6 male). More widely, the Institute is also investing in career development and role progression for our employees, strengthening our culture of support and building pipelines of career progression routes across research, technical and science support roles.  

Eradicating the gender pay gap is part of the Institute’s wider commitment to support all employees to achieve their maximum potential, and to remove any barriers to this where possible. Our e4s programme spearheads our equality, diversity and inclusion projects in order to meet this commitment but the wider Institute actively works as a community to highlight and address areas that represent inequality, impede progress and affect performance. All role specifications reference the Institute’s commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion and e4s regularly leads on supporting wider EDI awareness within and beyond our community.

As part of our quinquennial funding review by UKRI-BBSRC in 2023, the Institute developed a Research Culture Statement which is central to our vision of ensuring equitable opportunities for everyone working at the Institute across science and science operations. Objectives in this area (for 2024-2028) set out our plans to review and develop an HR People Strategy including our strategies for recruitment, learning & development and reward. As part of this work, we will also develop and implement a competency framework and a career development framework, continuing the progress made to date and ensuring that we have clearly defined, fair and supportive career paths to equip our staff to grow and succeed at all levels.