Homelessness is not experienced by everyone in the same way. The precarity of many people’s living situation and their ability to access support can be compounded by homophobia, transphobia, racism, ableism, and sexism. Sadly, those same forces affect the world of work, and prevent people from being paid a fair wage, progressing in their careers, or getting employed in the first place.

We are committed to ending homelessness in Cornwall because we believe that everyone – no matter who they are or what they look like – has the right to housing. All of us share the same basic human need for a safe and secure place to stay. These are convictions borne out of a belief in our common humanity and the fact that we are all born equal in worth, dignity and rights.

That same core belief drives our commitment to addressing pay disparity. Everyone has the right to be treated fairly and paid equitably, irrespective of their identity, and we all have the right to be appraised based on merit and competency alone. Our conviction is that pay disparity – like homelessness – is fundamentally a human rights issue.

That’s why we’re pleased to publish our Pay Gap Report for 2022. Within it, you won’t find tokenism or empty platitudes. You’ll find an honest set of figures – some extremely positive and others less so. We are rightly proud of the progress we have made in many areas, but we also want to be completely transparent about the challenges we continue to face.

Over the last four years, our gender pay gap has fallen from 19.2% to 15%. Increasing numbers of females progressing into management, improved family-friendly policies, and a review of recruitment practices are clearly having a positive impact.

Our disabled colleagues make up 40% of the workforce and experience a marginal pay advantage. These facts deserve to be celebrated. But by overlaying gender, we find that there is a compounded pay disadvantage for our female disabled colleagues. This just serves to highlight the importance of considering the multi-faceted nature of someone’s identity. We’ll be going further in our analysis of the impact of intersectionality on our pay gaps in future.

Over the past 12 months, our ethnicity pay gap has dropped from 19.4% to 14.1%. This is promising, but we remain realistic – with approximately 60 employees, the movement of just one individual is likely to have a profound impact on the overall pay gap.

Across the organisation, 6% of our people identify as either gay, lesbian, bi, or another term of their preference, compared with 3.1% of our clients. We can be proud of the representation across all levels of the organisation, even while our LGBTQ+ pay gap has marginally increased from 0.2% to 1.3%. 

Without question, one of the biggest contributing factors towards our pay gaps is the absence of underrepresented groups at the highest-paid levels of the organisation, and this cannot be resolved quickly. In the meantime, we remain focussed on eliminating barriers to career progression and ensuring all our employment practices are free from bias, accessible to all, and do not unfairly prejudice certain groups.

The road to pay equity may be long, and at times our progress may feel a bit more like plodding than running, but we are committed to putting one foot in front of the other. The preservation of basic human rights is the fuel that keep us going – both in our work to end homelessness in Cornwall, and in our efforts to end pay disparity within St Petrocs.

Download the full report below.

Pay Gap Report