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.

Gender

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

20

78

98

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

171

446

617

Band 4/4T Analysts,
Section Managers.

366

682

1048

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

544

420

964

ITPS* Developers,
Programmers,
Consultants.

49

291

340

Temporary staff**

39

68

107

Totals

1189

1985

3174

* 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:

Salaries

Salary Band Groups Salary band Female Male Totals Female % Male %
Band 1+ 1: £87,556-
£159,690
20 78 98 20% 80%
Band 2/3 2: £68,189-
£120,924
171 446 617 28% 72%
3: £53,512-
£91,649
Band 4/4T 4: £37,344-
£70,015
366 682 1048 35% 65%
4T: £29,000-
£46,689
Band 5-7 5: £28,027-
£46,247
544 420 964 56% 44%
6: £20,256-
£37,640
7: £17,191-
£24,579

 

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 http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/about/Paqes/people/default.aspx. Details of their salaries are available on page 46 of the Bank’s Annual Report which is available to view at http://www.bankofenqland.co.uk/publications/Pages/annualreport/default.aspx

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

Ages

Age band %
<20

1

20-24

9

25-29

15

30-34

18

35-39

14

40-44

14

45-49

12

50-54

8

55-59

5

60-64

3

65+

1

Total

100

Ethnicity

Ethnicity group %
Asian/Asian British

10

Black/African/Caribbean/Black British

2

Mixed/Multiple Ethnic Group

2

White

77

Other Ethnic Group

1

Not Declared/Unknown

5

Prefer not to say

3

Total

100

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.

Religion

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.

Disability

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.

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3 thoughts on “Bank of England FOI reply

  1. Well no surprises there then……… but good to have the figures.
    Do you think they are so incompetent with spreadsheets and technology or do you think they are
    deliberately making the information so technologically inaccessible so as to hinder the spread across the internet?

    • Why, how cynical of you!

      Come to think of it, I should have specified in my follow-up question that I wanted the original PDF. I’ll go do that now.

  2. Pingback: Bank of England second FOI request | Cis Is Not A Dirty Word

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