Gender Pay Reporting 2023

Railpen’s values and culture drive our approach to being open, transparent and accountable in how we treat our colleagues. Our purpose is to secure our members’ future and this underpins our broader culture, values and behaviours.

27 March 2024

Diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) in all aspects of our business remain fundamental to us delivering on our purpose. It helps us to ensure that Railpen’s people can ‘bring their true selves to work’, which brings with it more diverse ways of thinking, new ideas and different approaches and perspectives.

Gender pay reporting give us the opportunity to share our progress in these areas and to deliver on our commitment to treat individuals fairly.

Performance overview

Both our median hourly and mean hourly gender pay gaps have continued to decrease and so too has our mean bonus gap. In total, 87.1% of males and 91.5% of females received a bonus at Railpen in April 2023 in respect of the 2022 performance year. This is an increase of 4.6% on the number of females who received a bonus in 2022, which is the highest percentage of females to receive a bonus at Railpen since reporting began in 2017.

While we’re pleased with the progress we’re making in our efforts to close the gender pay gap, our median bonus gap has increased. This serves as a useful reminder that our biggest challenge at Railpen remains unchanged – to increase the number of women here at more senior levels given that we operate in an industry that is historically male-dominated.

The gender imbalance in favour of males continues to exist in the upper quartile pay range of the organisation, and this is what’s driving the overall gender pay gap at Railpen. And, while the number of women on our Executive Committee has grown over the last year in particular, we remain focused on continuing to increase the number of woman across all senior roles at Railpen.

Median and mean hourly pay gap from 2022 to 2023:

Image shows median and mean hourly pay gap from 2022 to 2023

Median and mean bonus pay gap from 2022 to 2023:

Image shows median and mean bonus pay gap from 2022 to 2023

We are resolute in working through a range of actions to improve gender balance. We are continuing on this journey and recognise that while we are seeing the results of our activities, more time is needed to embed these and drive forward more change. And so we remain committed to our initiatives.

Image shows the proportion of men and women across the four pay quartiles

Review of progress in 2023

As part of Railpen’s cultural change programme, Belonging at Railpen, we are seeing positive, incremental change. We have several initiatives that are seeking to create more equality; however we recognise that these will take time to bear fruit. The following paragraphs summarise our progress to date in relation to our new initiatives and also across the initiatives we covered in last year’s report.

The People and Culture Committee (PCC)

The PCC has been in place since 2022. It provides strategic oversight and steer to the groups that lead the development of Railpen’s values and behaviours, our leadership and DE&I work, flexible working, listening to the employee voice and our recruitment and reward strategies.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I)

An important part of Belonging at Railpen is our work to create a more diverse, equitable and inclusive Railpen. The DE&I Committee (formerly our Inclusion & Diversity Council) are committed to raising the profile of DE&I at Railpen.

The Committee now operates with a more structured approach which is guided by key themes. This follows the application of learnings and intelligence from our initiatives in 2022, which were fed into a more formal action plan for the Committee’s work in 2023. The action plan was signed-off by Railpen’s dedicated PCC, and this feeds into the Committee’s accountability across the following objectives and themes:

  • Recruitment
  • Workplace culture
  • Communication
  • Leadership
  • Measuring where we are

Our Values and Behaviours

The work of our Belonging at Railpen programme has included reviewing and refreshing our Values – these were launched in 2023 and, having taken a long-term mindset, we expect them to be in place for years to come. To help us achieve this, we set up a Railpen Values and Behaviours working group (RVB), which was made up of volunteer representatives from across the Railpen business. The RVB working group agreed and recommended that our Values and Behaviours should be co-determined, business-relevant and impactful in articulation and implementation – this collaborative and inclusive approach saw almost 25 per cent of our colleagues across Railpen step forward to help create of Railpen’s new Values and Behaviours. These were then communicated and rolled out to all of our colleagues in October 2023. In particular, our Values encourage us to speak up, move as a collective and act with integrity.

Our values and behaviours are as follows:Image shows Railpen valuesLeadership development

Currently, two out of seven members of the Railpen Board are women, with Fatima Baig joining in 2023. In the last year alone, we’ve seen four women join the Executive Leadership Team, which means six out of nine (two-thirds) members are women. While there remains work to do, the increasing number of women in senior roles at Railpen means we’re widening the pool of senior development initiatives to include more women which should, in turn, support the progression of women at Railpen.

Since early 2022, we’ve been delivering a number of development interventions for our senior leaders. And in July 2023, we launched our Leadership Agreement which sets the standards for our senior leaders and ensures that their development both safeguards and enhances our values-based culture and approach to performance.

We will continue to embed and evolve our support for the Agreement, through the development of our Leading the Railpen Way programme in 2024. Leading the Railpen Way will bring the Leadership Agreement to life for all leaders in a broad curriculum designed to build skills and behaviours.

In addition to the development interventions we’ve delivered to the Senior Leadership group, coaching and mentoring relationships are also in place and being developed..

Colleague Connection

Another vital part of our Belonging at Railpen has been Railpen’s work over the last few years to understand the collective colleague voice. So, we set up Colleague Connection (previously Employee Connection) in 2020 which is made up of colleagues elected by colleagues. Representatives meet regularly with Railpen’s Executive Leadership Team, and annually with the Railpen Board, and are key to ensuring that the progress we’re making on our cultural change journey is relevant, challenged and supported.

Since its launch, and following the positive impact Colleague Connection has had, we’ve come up with a more structured way to gather the collective views of our colleagues, rather than us just hearing the views of an interested and highly engaged minority.

In 2023, Colleague Connection representatives started to share and collect ideas and feedback before and after each meeting, improving engagement and leading to an improved collective colleague voice.

Additionally, in 2023, we introduced another way for our colleagues to reach out if they have a concern. Safecall is a professional, independent and confidential way for our colleagues to report their concerns if they decide not to do so via our internal routes, including Colleague Connection.

Priorities for HR

In addition to the working groups, our HR team are working with colleagues across Railpen to further develop and embed working practices which we believe will positively impact on our gender pay gap – these include the following:

  • Learning and development
  • The Railpen Living Wage
  • Our approach to talent acquisition

Learning and development

Following the successful launch of ‘Managing the Railpen’ Way during 2022, we’ve continued to listen to feedback from colleagues. As a result, we have improved our support for users of our HR information system, Workday, through online videos, training and support for newly appointed line managers in ‘Managing the Railpen Way’. We’re also now offer more targeted individual and team development aimed at building team cohesion and performance.

Our apprenticeship programme, launched in 2022, sits across multiple areas of the organisation, including Finance, Pensions Administration, Technology and Management.

Katie O’Rouke is a Senior Finance Analyst at Railpen. She’s currently on our Level 7 Accountancy Professional Apprenticeship and describes the benefits for her development as follows: “I’ve been able to develop my skills in communication, building relationships, problem solving and in decision making. My confidence has grown massively and I feel like I’m starting to use my voice a lot more. My apprenticeship at Railpen is a safe place for me to learn and grow. There is great support from colleagues, and no ask is ever too much.”

The Railpen Living Wage

The Railpen Living Wage was introduced from 1 May 2021 and we subsequently increased it in both 2022 and 2023. In particular, our approach to salary increases during 2023 was heavily influenced by the cost-of-living crisis and our continued ambition to drive down our gender pay gap. That 2023 increase has since been embedded into our Reward Framework and will be reviewed annually on 1 May.

Our approach to talent acquisition

Our Talent Acquisition and Business Partnering teams continue to play a key role in ensuring diverse candidates are shortlisted for vacancies, both internally and externally. They achieve this by actively seeking out opportunities to increase the representation of talent from diverse backgrounds, as well as putting in place mechanisms to ensure that the selection and promotion process is fair to all.

Cost-of-living support

The cost-of-living crisis in the UK has impacted our colleagues in different ways. Via Colleague Connection, we gained real insight into their key concerns, which in December 2022, saw us award colleagues who were earning a basic salary of £40,000 or less a one-off cost-of-living payment of £1,200 (outside the usual annual salary review at Railpen).

As a responsible employer, Railpen believed that helping those colleagues who needed it the most was the right thing to do. We thought carefully about an appropriate threshold for the support to ensure that the help we were offering was meaningful, relevant and also available to those who were most likely to need it. Information considered in agreeing the threshold included assessing existing practices by peer companies and the government definition of fuel poverty i.e. where a household spends more than 10% of earnings on energy (implying a threshold of £33,000). Setting a threshold above this definition enabled Railpen to cast the net further and include more colleagues.

Our cost-of-living payments were received by more female colleagues than male. However, since these payments were made outside the gender pay reporting period, they have been are excluded from this year’s report.

Impact of bonus data on gender pay reporting

Railpen pay bonuses in April and, consequently, our hourly pay rate numbers including bonus must, under gender pay gap regulations (The Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017)), include pro-rata bonus payments. As a result, it is difficult to make external comparisons on a like-for-like basis, because other companies may pay bonuses at other times of the year, leading to distortions in the calculation of hourly pay.

More reading

For more information about the topics mentioned above, including our approach to DE&I, Colleague Connection, cost-of-living and Managing the Railpen Way, you can read our Stewardship Report at

Our 2022 Gender Pay Report is available at