Gender pay gap reporting

What is gender pay gap reporting?

This is the fifth year we have reported on our gender pay gap. Gender pay gap reporting is not the same as paying men and women equally for doing like-for-like work – our Pay and Grading review in early 2018 means we are confident that we do this – but instead looks at the distribution of men and women through all pay levels of the organisation, the hours they work, and the effect this has on average hourly rates of pay. This report is a snapshot of our pay and gender as of 5 April 2021. This ‘lag’ in reporting time (we don’t report on 2021 until April 2022) is consistent with government requirements.

Why is this important?

It’s important that we have a diverse workforce that brings a wide range of skills, experience and knowledge to our work. We want to encourage a balance of men and women in the workplace and consider new attitudes to work that many people have – for example: part-time vs full-time working, career plans, secondments or career breaks. When we recruit new employees, we always look for the best candidate for the job – irrespective of gender – but we are careful that our process for defining job structure and hours of work does not favour either men or women.

What are we asked to look at?

For gender pay gap reporting we’re asked to look at:

  • The difference (as a percentage) between the average pay men and women receive (the ‘mean gender pay gap’)
  • The difference (as a percentage) between the median pay men and women receive (the mid-point of the individual pay rates in the organisation – the ‘median gender pay gap’)
  • The balance of men and women across our employees overall, and in four equal-sized groups when ranked by pay (‘quartiles’)

Employers are asked to do separate calculations in terms of ‘ordinary’ pay (which includes allowances, some of which do not apply to everyone), and ‘bonus’ pay. Because we do not offer bonuses, we only report on ‘ordinary’ pay.

Key findings

Our mean gender pay gap is: 7.6%

The average hourly rate paid to women is 7.6% less than men. Last year, this figure was 11.1%, meaning we have reduced the mean gender pay gap by 3.5% in the last year.

Our median gender pay gap is: 7.9%

The median hourly rate paid to women is 7.9% less than men. Last year, the gap was 12.5%, so the median gender pay gap has decreased by 4.6%. As noted below, the median gender pay gap for all employees in Scotland in 2021, as reported by the Scottish Government, was 11.6%.

The median is generally used to compare the gender pay gap because the distribution of earnings is uneven, with more people earning lower salaries than higher salaries. The mean is highly influenced by the salaries at the upper end of a pay scale and so may not be truly representative of the average earnings of a typical person. The median avoids this issue and so is considered a better indicator of typical ‘average’ earnings.

The provisional Scottish median gender pay gap for all employees (part-time and full-time) in 2021 is 11.6%, and for the UK as a whole is 15.4%. [1]

[1] Figures taken from Scottish Government Annual survey of hours and earnings: 2021, Table 3.1

Impact of COVID-19 pandemic

The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the National Trust for Scotland in terms of our gender pay gap report is noticeable. In normal years, the Trust would recruit significant numbers of staff in early spring, mostly at entry pay level, but the lockdown over Christmas 2020 into spring 2021 curtailed almost all recruitment until late spring/early summer.

For example:

  • In April 2020 we had 912 employees; in April 2021 this was 580 – a reduction of 36.4%.
  • In April 2020 there were 333 employees on the entry level pay; in April 2021 there were 123 – a reduction of 63.1%.

This reduction in numbers is also a reflection of the radical staffing changes we had to make in August 2020 to protect the financial sustainability of the Trust.

Our pay quartiles

Our overall employee mix is 56.6% women, 43.4% men. There has been a decrease in the percentage of women compared to 2020 (60% women, 40% men).

Swipe to view table

Quartile2021 data2020 data2019 dataMovement on 2020
Lower Male 31.7%

Female 68.3%
Male 31.6%

Female 68.4%
Male 31%

Female 69%
in men
Lower-Middle Male 46.9%

Female 53.1%
Male 36.4%

Female 63.6%
Male 30.7%

Female 69.3%
in men
Upper-Middle Male 48.3%

Female 51.7%
Male 41.2%

Female 58.8%
Male 41.8%

Female 58.2%
in men
Upper Male 46.9%

Female 53.1%
Male 50.9%

Female 49.1%
Male 52.3%

Female 47.7%
in women

Why do we have a pay gap?

The main reasons we have a gender pay gap are:

  • We have more women working than men.
  • The women tend to be in roles in the lower quartiles of our pay brackets (75% of people earning at our entry rate pay point are women).
  • There are proportionally more part-time jobs in our lower pay brackets, which are societally still more likely to be filled by women. The gender balance for full-time roles is 50.6% men, 49.4% women (in 2020 it was 50.5% male, 49.5% women); for part-time it is 27.4% men, 72.6% women (in 2020 this was 28.2% men, 71.8% women).

What are we doing to encourage gender balance in the workplace?

  • Most of our lower-paid roles are property-based and part-time/part-year. Whilst rates of pay do not vary whether an employee is part-time/part-year, this type of working may have appealed in the past more to women than men.
  • Increasing numbers of our properties are open for longer ‘seasons’, with the potential consequence of attracting employees looking for year-round employment. In turn, this may see a more balanced workforce of women and men, with the consequence of addressing the lower quartile challenges.
  • We introduced a new pay model in early 2018 which gives more clarity about how jobs are sized for pay, and more flexibility for managers to recruit against market conditions and progress pay on the delivery of objectives and corporate behaviours. To ensure that gender inequality does not become a factor in this new pay model, a robust governance structure has been introduced that includes monitoring of pay on entry and pay progression against gender, and senior sign-off for non-standard rates or amounts. A revised job evaluation process was included in the development of the pay model, which ensures all jobs are evaluated objectively.
  • The impacts of this new pay model are starting to be seen in the gender pay gap report: in 2019 there were 144 separate pay points among our employees, in 2020 this increased to 193 pay points (despite there being over 200 fewer employees), and in 2021 there are 185 separate pay points with more than 300 fewer staff.
  • Our salary negotiation is carried out on a corporate basis with our trade union, rather than an individual basis. All our salary points are published on our intranet and are visible to all our employees. The relevant salary points are included in job adverts.
  • We have a structured interview process for all our vacancies, using a competency-based framework focused on our corporate values. We also anonymise our applications to guard against any unconscious bias from recruiting managers.
  • There are many training interventions designed to support recruiting line managers, as they’re required to make recruitment decisions based on suitability for the job against the stated job criteria (as opposed to gender or any other protected characteristic). These include mandatory online learning modules on Unconscious Bias and Equality & Diversity and refreshed face-to-face recruitment training for managers who have not attended such a module within the six months prior to recruitment interviews.
  • Our Workforce Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Consultant is focusing on diversity and inclusion for both the current and potential workforce, including:

    - establishing a baseline assessment of our workforce diversity to inform strategic and tactical decisions about improving the inclusivity of our People Value Proposition

    - engaging our existing workforce with equality, diversity and inclusion in the workplace, to demonstrate a tangible, positive, organisation-wide culture shift that shows understanding, appreciation and encouragement of all colleagues in our pursuit of our charity’s aims

    - identifying and delivering a wide range of sustainable initiatives that are of practical support and value to our workforce and that are a tangible expression of us as an ever-more inclusive employer

    - helping us embed ED&I thinking into our People Strategy and volunteer and employee policies/procedures, so that we have confidence that they support a diverse and inclusive workforce.
  • We’re exploring the best way to open and promote career paths and succession planning for our workforce, so that individuals who already work for us can see a route for their career development through roles at different levels in the same or different job families, and so that individuals new to us are attracted by the potential journeys we can take them on.
    This will broaden our appeal in the diverse marketplace where we know many people are seeking not a job for life but a career moving through different levels of responsibility and accountability in a way that suits their aspirations. For example, we have an established gardener apprenticeship scheme, and our operational re-focus on visitor service/experience (with clarified roles at various levels) will, for the first time in the Trust, identify a clear career path in this discipline.
  • We continue to operate our family-friendly policies to support individuals who wish to blend family or caring responsibilities with work. Our Flexible Working policy makes sure that decisions about the granting of different ways of working (for example compressed hours, or moving to part-time) are based on business needs and not on factors such as gender (or other protected characteristics). The uptake of Flexible Working will be monitored and specifically analysed against gender and pay to measure impact.
  • Every employee is managed effectively and fairly through an annual review of performance and target setting, with regular one-to-one meetings throughout the year. The performance review has an element of self-assessment, but is focused on a joint, collaborative approach from the manager and employee. The performance appraisal process informs pay progression decisions later in the calendar year.

In summary

The Trust takes very seriously its equality and diversity and is always developing new ways to encourage people to be part of our workforce – whether as an employee or a volunteer. We want people to recognise us a great place to work – irrespective of gender (or any other protected characteristic) – but we know that there are some issues we need to address, and that these may take some time. The Trust has embarked on a transformational journey to make sure that we can continue to be a leader in conservation and heritage, and ‘doing the right thing’ for our workforce is very high on our agenda.

You can read more about our work across our website. We have a regularly updated page for current volunteering and job opportunities or you can click on the Volunteering & Jobs link at the bottom of any of our webpages.


Download the full 2022 gender pay gap report for the Trust.

Gender pay gap reports from previous years


Download the full 2021 gender pay gap report for the Trust.


Download the full 2020 gender pay gap report for the Trust.


Download the full 2019 gender pay gap report for the Trust.


Download the full 2018 gender pay gap report for the Trust.