Gender pay gap as at April 1 2018

1. Overview

This document reports on the gender pay gap at Amnesty International’s International Secretariat in a spirit of transparency and progress. Gender equality is a critical component of the human rights issues we work on and we are committed to building an organization that reflects those values internally as well as externally. That is why alongside publishing the details around our gender pay gap, we are setting out plans to address it.

The UK’s Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017 require us to publish our gender pay gap statistics for UK employees annually from 2018. However, Amnesty International’s International Secretariat has taken the decision to also include our regional offices outside of the UK in this analysis to give as comprehensive a position as possible to reflect our organisational realities. 

2.What is the gender pay gap?

The gender pay gap is described as:

  1. the difference in the mean pay of full-time equivalent (FTE) men and women, expressed as a percentage;
  2. the difference in the median pay of FTE men and women, expressed as a percentage;
  3. the number of FTE men and women in each of four quartiles pay bands (lower, lower middle, upper middle, upper).

The gender pay gap looks at differences in the average earnings of men and women regardless of their role or seniority, which can result from a number of factors including differences in the sorts of jobs performed by men and women.

It is separate from equal pay, which focuses on the pay differences between men and women performing the same or similar work, and which our pay grade system successfully protects against.

3. Findings

3.1 All International Secretariat UK employees

 2016/2017 2017/2018
International Secretariat Median gender pay gap                                  5.7%8.5%
UK Median gender pay gap (as at April 2017 per ONS*) 18.4%18.2%
International Secretariat Mean gender pay gap 11.6%8.6%
UK Mean gender pay gap (as at April 2017 per ONS*) 17.4%17.9%

*: ONS: Office of National Statistics

While our pay gap at the median compares favourably to the UK national average, we are not complacent about the need to further understand the reasons for the gap and to set clear targets to further close it. Further information and analysis is set out below.

As shown on the table above, our median gender pay gap as increased by 2.8% (but our mean pay gap has reduced by 2.7%) when compared to last year. It is difficult to identify a reason for this, but our initial analysis is that it is due to a reduction in our total number of employees (332 in 2018 versus 356 in 2017, and the fact that within this reduction more women have left than men). This translates in a reduction in the total number of female positioned around the middle of our salary scale resulting in in a slight increase in our median pay gap.

This is the second year we are publishing our gender pay gap and we note that across most of our offices across the world, the gender pay gap has reduced compared to last year (i.e. 2016/17). Please see the summary table at point 3.2.

NB: In line with UK gender pay gap reporting regulations, we have published both the median and mean figures. These metrics give an idea of the distribution of pay across our organization. While the median gives the best representation of the “typical” gender difference, the mean helps to show how varied higher or lower salaries are at the top or bottom of the sample.

3.2 Number of men and women in quartile pay bands

Of the 332 UK staff, 69% are women. This is broken down across the four equally sized quartiles separated by the hourly pay rate, starting from lowest paid to the highest paid as follows:

 % of men% of women
1st quartile24.475.6
2nd quartile25.374.7
3rd quartile31.368.7
4th quartile44.056.0


1) There are seven Grades and within each the six pay steps, plus the SLT band. The 1st Quartile covers up to Grade 4 step 3; 2nd Quartile covers up to Grade 5 step 3; 3rd Quartile covers up to Grade 6 step 1; 4th Quartile up to/ including the Senior Leadership Team (SLT). As the data shows there is an increasing percentage of men in each quartile.

2) That although the SLT are covered in the 4th quartile, some members are employed outside the UK and are thus not included in this data.

In Amnesty International’s the gender pay gap is partly attributable to the fact that women staff members tend to have fewer years of service than men. Salary levels in Amnesty are directly linked to years of service and this is illustrated by the table below showing the distribution between men and women per the established seven Grades and within each the six pay steps. The table shows the service disparities and enables us to consider how we might influence this in order to address gender pay disparity (see “What next?” below).

 GradePercentage of women in first 3 stepsPercentage of men in first 3 stepsPercentage of women in last 3 stepsPercentage of men in last 3 steps 
Grade 10.0100.00.00.0 
Grade 237.540.020.080.0 
Grade 382.6 17.478.621.4 
Grade 473.326.776.723.3 
Grade 581.518.565.234.8 
Grade 665.534.550.050.0 
Grade 7& SeniorL’ship Team100.00.058.341.7 

3.3 Gender pay gaps for any bonuses paid out during the year

Amnesty International has a performance related pay progression system and pays no bonuses to any staff members.

3.4 Regional offices (staff based outside the UK)

We have undertaken a similar analysis of the pay gap in each office outside of the UK employing more than 15 staff.

The findings are shown in the table below and against the prior year.

As it is based on a statistically smaller number of staff than for the UK staff population described above, the data naturally shows larger disparities which can be influenced by one or two individuals moving between the defined quartiles (e.g. in Dakar or Johannesburg). It also shows locations where all/the majority of the management are women (e.g. in Beirut or Mexico where the gender pay gap relates to men.)

 Mean pay gapMedian pay gap
London (332 staff)
Beirut (24 staff)1.0-6.4-0.5-8.2
Brussels (16 staff)-0.91.8-0.5-8.2
Dakar (18 staff)26.219.428.825.0
Hong Kong (26 staff)18.320.614.011.4
Johannesburg (17 staff)27.421.010.42.4
Mexico (38 staff)-24.7-22.20-5
Nairobi (24 staff)3.81.8512.6

a) a negative number indicates a gender pay gap in favour of women; and b) unlike for the UK, there are no national statistics for these countries to enable comparison.

4. What next?

4.1      We will continue to work with staff, our union (Unite) and others to consider ways in which we can further decrease the pay gap, where it is relevant and appropriate to do so, and to report on actions taken.

Our first target is to monitor the reasons for women leaving in the first three years of their employment and to take steps to address this where practicable. Statistically, if the tenure of women increased by one year, the median pay gap would fall by c.50% from 8.5% to 5.7%. 

4.2      The UK related figures will be published using the UK government’s template. Analysis for the whole of the International Secretariat (UK and staff employed internationally) will continue to be available on

Updated in March 2019