VIVID, one of the largest housing associations in the south of England, has made considerable strides in closing its gender pay gap, reporting one of the smallest pay differences between men and women both nationally and in the sector. The Hampshire based organisation has reduced its median pay gap over the from 13.5% in 2017 to 1.7% in 2019.
Over the last three years VIVID has successfully increased the number of women in senior positions in the company. Currently 57% of Head of Service roles and 47% of middle management jobs are held by women. This is due to VIVID’s commitment in training home grown talent and implementing a fair recruitment policy whereby at least one man and one woman are on the interview panel for management interviews to avoid unconscious bias.
Whilst pleased with the progress it’s made, VIVID wants to encourage more women to apply for jobs at the company and specifically into traditionally male dominated roles. This is an issue many businesses experience in what have been male dominated sectors but VIVID is determined to turn this around. As one of the largest housing providers in the south of England, nearly half of VIVID’s staff work in the trade profession with 99% of these positions held by men. This includes roles such as plumbers, roofers, electricians and grounds maintenance.
Duncan Short, Director of Resources at VIVID says, “We’re committed to reward and pay our staff fairly regardless of their gender and give everyone the opportunity to develop into more senior roles. We’re pleased with the progress we’ve made to close the gap on male and female pay across the company, but we know more needs to be done.
“Like many other companies with traditionally male dominated professions, we’ve had challenges ensuring equal footing across the board. We aren’t complacent about this though and hope our new targets and initiatives will help us drive change and encourage women to consider job opportunities in all sectors.”
To help turn this around, VIVID has committed to a series of initiatives and programmes to help attract more women to the organisation to ensure it’s getting the best talent through its doors.
To attract more women into trade professions, it’s set a target to employ 9% more females in into its trades team by 2023. The organisation is working with local schools and careers advisors to encourage more women into trades. It’s created a partnership with Portsmouth based Highbury College to work with students enrolling in T-Level courses from September 2020 to help provide ‘on the job’ training and promote opportunities in VIVID’s apprenticeship scheme.
One of VIVID’s new commitments was to increase the number of women in senior positions in the organisation from 40% to 50% by 2021, but the organisation is pleased to report it's already achieved this. This will involve cultivating “home grown” talent, providing invaluable training opportunities for promising staff members to develop into more senior roles. It’s also committed to improving its support for new and existing parents with equal family leave, pay benefits and flexible working opportunities at all levels to make it easier for parents to come back to work and balance it with their home lives.