Gender Equality

We are committed to reducing the gender pay gap and promoting gender equality.

We at Suffolk County Council continue to strive to close any equality-related pay gaps that we have, for as long as they exist. We are committed to improving inclusion on the basis of legal sex and reducing the disparity of outcome for our female staff.

Some of the main work that we have completed over the last few years in an effort to reduce and minimise this issue are:

  • Changes to pay that particularly benefit lower paid staff,
  • Set targets of at least 84 positive action initiatives that are supported by HR, with 62% of these focusing on gender,
  • Piloted our first Returnship programme which gave parents, who have been out of the work place for 2 or more years, experience of a working environment,
  • Promoting equal parenting and a family-friendly, flexible working culture,
  • Improving support for staff who are carers.

As of March 2022, roughly 70% of our workforce identified as female. We reduced the median gender pay gap by 1% in one year, with our average over 1% lower than the national average.

Our robust job evaluation process provides us with the confidence that we do not have an equal pay issue, but we continue to improve our efforts where possible to ensure that we are offering a fair and inclusive working environment for all of our employees.


Other actions we’ve taken

  • Two thirds of our most senior roles are held by women, and our Chief Executive is a woman.
  • We have a women’s staff network, and another network for the Fire Service, called Suffolk Women in Fire Together.
  • We have a range of enhanced benefits and support for our working parents, including enhanced maternity, adoption, paternity and shared parental pay; extra fully paid leave for parents of premature babies; an offer of coaching support upon the return to work; guidance and toolkits to support returning parents; guidance to support breast- or chest-feeding parents; and a Parents Together buddy scheme. These are day 1 entitlements for every employee.
  • We doubled our period of paid paternity leave from 2 to 4 weeks in September 2022. We have seen an 83% take-up of the full 4-week leave entitlement.