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Gender pay gap widens at HS2 Ltd and Crossrail

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The gender pay gap has widened at  High Speed 2 promoter HS2 Ltd and Crossrail Ltd, figures submitted to the government’s gender pay gap service reveal.

HS2 Ltd reported a median gender pay gap of 28% for 2018/19, an increase of three percentage points on last year. Meanwhile, Crossrail Ltd reported its median gender pay gap as 34.5%, a 1.3% jump on its previous annual report. 

The gender pay gap for both companies is far greater than the national median gender pay gap average of 17.1%. 

Last year all UK firms with 250 or more employees were, for the first time, required to report the gender pay gap within their organisations

Most organisations work out the gap by calculating the difference between the median hourly salaries earned by male and female employees. The median pay figure is the mid-point in the organisation’s range of hourly earnings.  

If an organisation has a 10% gap, it means that median pay for women is 10% less than it is for men. If the figure is negative, for example -10%, it means the median pay for women is 10% higher than it is for men. 

A HS2 Ltd spokesperson said: “HS2 Ltd has put in place a number of measures to help redress gender balance within the organisation and the industry. We have piloted blind recruitment which fully anonymises applications, and this has resulted in dramatic increases in shortlisting and hire rates for women.

“We are now expanding this programme within the business, and encouraging our supply chain to embrace it. We know that there is more to do and that our ambitions for HS2 will only be achieved if our workforce at all levels truly reflects the country we aim to serve.”



Many employers in the civil engineering and construction sectors have reported worsening gaps, including Highways England, embattled Interserve, and Yorkshire Water.  

Elsewhere, reported gaps at Transport for London (TfL) and the Department for Transport (DfT) have improved, with the DfT’s median gender pay gap dropping seven percentage points to fall below the national average.  

The DfT’s median pay gap has fallen from 22.6% to 15.6%, a seven percentage point drop. While TfL’s median gap fell by half a percentage point.  

TfL director of diversity and inclusion Staynton Brown said: “Gender equality is something that we take very seriously. We are working hard to make our organisation more representative of the city that we serve, but we realise there is much more work to do. 

“We have made progress with an increase in the proportion of women within our organisation, including in senior management roles. However, we know we need to go much further and that’s why we are working hard to tackle the gender pay gap head on by continuing to improve our recruitment and hiring processes as well as encouraging more young women and girls to consider a career in the transport industry.” 

Last month New Civil Engineer reported that Highways England’s median gender pay gap had increased by 11 percentage points in the last year.  

Public companies were expected to submit their 2018 results by 31 March, while private companies are due to report by the end of this week. 

Crossrail has been contacted for comment. 

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