Bank of England FOI reply

A few weeks ago I submitted an FOI request to the Bank of England, following a discussion on Twitter with The Women’s Room and Caroline Criado Perez about the lack on women on their board, and whether that helped contribute to the decision to remove the last woman from our banknotes[1]. We surmised that it would be unlikely that such a decision would be made in an organisation that had a large proportion of women working in senior positions.

These are the questions I asked:

1) Information held on the number of males and the number of females employed full time as staff by the BOE, their seniority of position and salary band.[2]

2) Information held on the representation of different age, gender, ethnicity, religion, and disability within staff and freelancers (if applicable) of the BOE.

3) Any details of Equality Impact Assessments (EIAs) that were conducted under the three previous public sector equality duties (race equality duty, gender equality duty and disability equality duty), which were in force until April 2011 when the new single public sector equality duty (PSED) came into force and replaced them.

4) The BOE Human Resources Policy on Equal Opportunity of Employment and details of hiring procedures to ensure employment on basis of merit and equality of opportunity

Last night, 20 working days after I submitted my request, I got a response. 20 days is the legal deadline for responding to FOIs, note I received an email from What Do They Know, the website I used to facilitate my request, at 18:17.

The full response is available as a PDF, but is not presented in the easiest format, so here is a summary. I have had to manually copy tables, line by line, into Excel, as I cannot get any software to recognise the tables in the PDF. Arg.

1) Information held on the number of males and the number of females employed full time as staff by the BOE, their seniority of position and salary band.


Salary Band Groups Examples Female Male Totals
Band 1+ Head of Division,




Band 2/3 Senior Manager,
Senior Economist,
Technical Specialist.




Band 4/4T Analysts,
Section Managers.




Band 5-7 Senior Clerical Staff,
Research Assistants,
Support Staff.




ITPS* Developers,




Temporary staff**








* Information Technology staff, **includes vacation staff, sandwich students etc.

My immediate thought is that there’s probably a big difference in job spec and salary between “support staff” and “senior clerical staff”.

The information on salary bands is held in a separate document, which I’ve copied by hand into a new table (I think perhaps they underestimated how much I am willing to procrastinate from studying). I’ve taken out the details for temporary staff (no salary details) and IT staff (too many bands), and then pasted them into the table:


Salary Band Groups Salary band Female Male Totals Female % Male %
Band 1+ 1: £87,556-
20 78 98 20% 80%
Band 2/3 2: £68,189-
171 446 617 28% 72%
3: £53,512-
Band 4/4T 4: £37,344-
366 682 1048 35% 65%
4T: £29,000-
Band 5-7 5: £28,027-
544 420 964 56% 44%
6: £20,256-
7: £17,191-


There is certainly an enormous difference between £17k and £46k, as anyone who’s survived on a salary below £20k will tell you (in London, as these appear to be due to later pages on ‘regional salaries’). Even the median salaries of £21k and £37k between bands 5 and 7 is huge. I will make a follow-up request about this, as I don’t think it satisfies my original query to lump these bands together.

You will also find information about the Bank’s Executive Team (above Band 1+) on our website at Details of their salaries are available on page 46 of the Bank’s Annual Report which is available to view at

2) Information held on the representation of different age, gender, ethnicity, religion, and disability within staff and freelancers (if applicable) of the BOE.


Age band %

























Ethnicity group %
Asian/Asian British


Black/African/Caribbean/Black British


Mixed/Multiple Ethnic Group




Other Ethnic Group


Not Declared/Unknown


Prefer not to say




As expected, the Bank is overwhelmingly white, but it’s hard to say whether that’s an accurate reflection of local diversity in the offices.


Diversity detail disclosure is reliant on staff declaration and, as we have only recently started to collect data on religious belief, we are unable to supply any complete data at this stage. However, what we can tell you is that of our employees who have completed their details, 46% described themselves as Christian. We also have smaller groups of staff who declare their religious beliefs as Buddhist, Hindu, Jain, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh.

And largely Christian. The BBC FOI with faith details has 22% of staff declaring themselves as Christian.


This information is also reliant on staff disclosure. As at end June 2013, 47% of staff had declared their disability status; 2% of these classified themselves as disabled.

Again, this is lower than the 3.8% of BBC staff who define themselves as disabled. According to DWP, 16% of working age adults have a disability.

Equality Impact Assesments

In relation to Item 3, in view of the evolving nature of the earlier legislation to which you refer and its application to the Bank, and the absence of an express provision in that legislation entitled ‘public sector equality duty1, could you please clarify in accordance with section 1(3) of the Fol Act which precise duty(ies) under the earlier legislation you are referring to. This should help the Bank to ascertain whether it might hold any relevant information.

I’m not going to follow up this request, as I think the information I really want is held in the previous questions (albeit they have answered in a way that does not yet satisfy me).

I have had to copy each link, paste it in plain text, and edit individual characters, because the links in the document they sent are not only not live, but not clearly readable by copying them. They appear to have written up the document, printed it out on paper, and then scanned it, to get a PDF.

These are the people in charge of our money.

[1] Dear mansplainers: apart from the Queen. Seriously, don’t be that guy.

[2] I wouldn’t use “males” and “females” to respond to people usually, it’s kind of icky. But I was following language styles from successful FOI requests to the BBC.


Rape jokes and rapists

This has been all over tumblr and other places for years, but I had reason to read it again today, and I want my own copy to be able to refer back to. With thanks to the author, Jessica V and the blog it originated from, Shakesville:

To all those who don’t think rape jokes are a problem.

I get it, you’re a decent guy. I can even believe it. You’ve never raped anybody. You would never rape anybody. You’re upset that all these feminists are trying to accuse you of doing something or connect you to doing something that, as far as you’re concerned, you’ve never done and would never condone.

And they’ve told you about triggers, and PTSD, and how one in six women is a survivor, and you get it. You do. But you can’t let every time someone gets all upset get in the way of you having a good time, right?

So fine. If all those arguments aren’t doing anything for you, let me tell you this. And I tell you this because I genuinely believe you mean it when you say you don’t want to hurt anybody, and you don’t see the harm, and that it’s important to you to do your best to be a decent and good person. And I genuinely believe you when you say you would never associate with a rapist and you think rape really is a very bad thing.

Because this is why I refuse to take rape jokes sitting down-

6% of college age men, slightly over 1 in 20, will admit to raping someone in anonymous surveys, as long as the word “rape” isn’t used in the description of the act.

6% of college age men will admit to actually being rapists when asked.

A lot of people accuse feminists of thinking that all men are rapists. That’s not true. But do you know who think all men are rapists?

Rapists do.

They really do. In psychological study, the profiling, the studies, it comes out again and again.

Virtually all rapists genuinely believe that all men rape, and other men just keep it hushed up better. And more, these people who really are rapists are constantly reaffirmed in their belief about the rest of mankind being rapists like them by things like rape jokes, that dismiss and normalize the idea of rape.

If one in twenty guys is a real and true rapist, and you have any amount of social activity with other guys like yourself, really cool guy, then it is almost a statistical certainty that one time hanging out with friends and their friends, playing Halo with a bunch of guys online, in a WoW guild, or elsewhere, you were talking to a rapist. Not your fault. You can’t tell a rapist apart any better than anyone else can. It’s not like they announce themselves.

But, here’s the thing. It’s very likely that in some of these interactions with these guys, at some point or another someone told a rape joke. You, decent guy that you are, understood that they didn’t mean it, and it was just a joke. And so you laughed.

And, decent guy who would never condone rape, who would step in and stop rape if he saw it, who understands that rape is awful and wrong and bad, when you laughed?

That rapist who was in the group with you, that rapist thought that you were on his side. That rapist knew that you were a rapist like him. And he felt validated, and he felt he was among his comrades.

You. The rapist’s comrade.

And if that doesn’t make you feel sick to your stomach, if that doesn’t make you want to throw up, if that doesn’t disturb you or bother you or make you feel like maybe you should at least consider not participating in that kind of humor anymore…

Well, maybe you aren’t as opposed to rapists as you claim.

(I have removed references to Penny Arcade as I think it stands on its own as a message about rape culture)