Innovate UK Business Connect Gender Pay Gap report for 2023

Innovate UK Business Connect has published its 2023 Gender Pay Gap (GPG) report.

Posted on: 27/03/2024

Our commitment

Innovate UK Business Connect is a people-based organisation where our successes are based on our ability to attract and retain talent. We view our commitment to a diverse and inclusive workplace as an essential feature of how we work and how we embrace opportunities together. We are committed to continuing to address our GPG and to measuring our progress.

This is our first year of externally reporting our GPG results, but we have been analysing our GPG data over a number of years to ensure that we continuously improve. The data provides us with insights into understanding trends and the impact of actions that we have taken.

– Jon Kingsbury, CEO


  • Innovate UK Business Connect’s GPG at end of March 2023 was 12.6%.
  • GPG data sets out the difference between the average pay of all females compared to the average pay of all males within the organisation, regardless of level or type of work carried out. This means that the representation of male and female staff within the workforce will have an impact on the GPG. A positive figure indicates a pay gap in favour of males and a negative figure indicates a gap in favour of females.

    The GPG is different to equal pay. Equal pay compares pay differences between males and females who carry out the same jobs, similar jobs or work of equal value.

  • The GPG is calculated as the difference between average hourly earnings of males and females as a proportion of male’s average hourly earnings. It is a measure across all jobs in the UK, not of the difference in pay between males and females for doing the same job. The regulations require annual GPG reporting including:

    • mean and median GPG
    • the proportions of males and females in each pay quartile;
    • the mean and median gender bonus gap, and,
    • the proportion of males and females who received bonuses.

    The data used to calculate the Innovate UK Business Connect GPG is as of 31 March 2023 (snapshot date). The mean shows the difference between the average hourly earnings of males and females by taking the total pay of females and dividing this by the number of females, and the same for males.

    The median is found by lining up all employees’ pay in two lines, one for females, one for males, in order of pay from highest to lowest. The median GPG then compares the pay difference between the male and the female in the middle of the respective lines.

  • Part of the Innovate UK system, we connect innovators and innovative businesses with the right cross-sector opportunities to start, scale and grow, driving positive change for our society and economy.

    We are a diverse organisation employing people with deep expertise across the UK.

    Innovate UK Business Connect operates a grading system underpinned by a job evaluation system; grades reflect the level of responsibility that individuals have, with each grade having a set pay range.

    Our workforce is more polarised when comparing lower quartile and upper quartile of pay grades, with women making up 66% of lower quartile roles and 37% of upper quartile.

    The picture is slowly changing with an increasing number of women moving into the upper quartile pay grades.

    Our gender mix varies across each quartile of our population, with a disproportionate number of senior positions held by male employees, contributing to the GPG. It is encouraging to see that females continue to be well represented in the upper middle quartile, which illustrates the progression of women through the organisation.

GPG results

Proportion of relevant employees:

  • 55% female
  • 45% male

*Active fully paid employees by Innovate UK Business Connect

  • Mean = 12.59%
  • Median = 14.68%

There were no bonuses paid.

Proportion of men and women by quartile

Representation of proportion of men and women by quartile
Representation of proportion of men and women by quartile

Taking action

We have taken a number of positive steps to address the GPG.


We have improved our Applicant Tracking System reporting, enabling us to track candidates by characteristic to assess our attraction and appointment decisions.

We have put in place new recruitment training modules for appointing managers, which seeks to address unconscious gender bias, being specific about relevant skills and using diverse interview panels where possible.

We run a transparent internal promotion process, where internal opportunities are advertised across Innovate UK Business Connect and are open to all employees.

Flexible working

This supports employees to balance home and work life. This is available to all employees and the take up of flexible working has been promoted internally and externally on our recruitment adverts.

Mentoring and career development 

Working across Innovate UK, we have launched a Mentoring Programme pilot, which started in March 2024. We have had a great response and will run 2 cohorts in the pilot. We plan to offer the opportunity to join a Mentoring Programme cohort on a regular cycle, and we will evaluate the impact of the programme.

We are supporting talented women via a Woman in Leadership programme, with cohort 3 commencing shortly.

Employee Networks

We continue to run employee networks to raise awareness, share experiences safely and move forward policy changes and improvements

Next steps

Innovate UK Business Connect is committed to creating a more diverse and inclusive environment:

  • We are continuing to drive action through our GPG working group to create a plan of activities to reduce the GPG.
  • We will improve collection of our workforce data to understand our workforce and provide opportunities for them.
  • We will continue to embed the actions undertaken and be open to learning from these.

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