Achieving equal pay

Nine thousand UK companies with more than 250 employees submitted their gender pay gap data to the government.


The median average gender pay gap reported across all firms was 9.7%.

Early analysis suggested construction is the sector with the largest pay gap – initial figures showed women working in construction are paid a whopping 21% less than men.

Fortem, which employs 1,000 people and delivers property improvement services to more than 40 social housing providers across the UK, has a gender pay gap of 1.9%.

We face many of the same challenges as construction firms in terms of many of our roles being viewed as traditionally male, so how did we achieve our 1.9% gap? And how do we plan to not only maintain it, but to reduce it further?

Empowering leadership

We equip our leaders to attract, retain and develop a more diverse workforce through a suite of in-house leadership academies exclusive to Fortem.

Recruiting based on talent

We’ve set up an in-house recruitment team, which completes the first shortlisting of candidates for all roles in order to ensure objectivity.

Running targeted campaigns

Female ambassadors from our business visit schools and colleges to talk about opportunities with us.

As a direct result of our recent targeted recruitment, we have increased the applications from females for this year’s apprenticeship scheme from 4% to 10%.

Growing our own

We focus on developing our apprentices, management trainees and existing employees. In particular, we are confident our management trainee scheme equips trainees with the skills and experiences they need to become our future leaders.

More than 40% of our current trainees are female, providing us with a great selection of women to progress into senior roles.

Retaining role models

Flexible and agile working opportunities support our female employees into leadership roles, and having more senior female role models within our business helps us to attract even more talented women into our organisation.


In order to understand the barriers that stop women from becoming skilled trades, we hold forums with our existing female trades understand how we can improve working conditions, and then make the necessary changes.

Being relentless

Lastly, Fortem knows that equal pay is an ongoing process.

We conduct regular ‘People Reviews’, where all managers are required to present about the members of their teams, and detailed development plans are put in place for those identified as having high potential.

We have salary bands for all roles, ensuring employees are rewarded in-line with their responsibilities, and we conduct regular salary reviews so we can be confident our people are paid fairly for the job they do, regardless of other factors.

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