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    Our aim in reporting gender pay is to enable Knights Brown to understand the size of the gap and look at closing it, as it’s particularly prevalent in the construction industry.


    At Knights Brown we believe people should enjoy fulfilling careers, customers should have projects they’re proud of, communities should be improved by our work and involvement, and the environment and nature should benefit from our behaviour. In this way, we will realise our ambitions.

    Our vision is to be a company people aspire to work for, where we will always deliver the best experience for our customers.

    A diverse and inclusive business is essential to achieving our vision, which is why we have committed to attracting people from a broader range of backgrounds and supporting their development in our five year strategy. This month we launched our diversity and inclusion action plan, ‘Everyone’, which sets out our priorities for doing this.

    In April 2018, Knights Brown employed 235 people. As such, there was no obligation for us to undertake a gender pay gap analysis. However, we looked on this as an opportunity to take stock of our position and be transparent. Regardless of our size, we are committed to improving our gender pay gap. Now two years later as we have grown, we are able to compare how we have moved on from this initial benchmark.

    Today we employ over 275 people and we aim to provide opportunities and fulfilling careers for all by growing sustainably. Our focus is still to achieve sustainable growth and this emphasis on sustainability meant we were well placed to weather the challenges of the pandemic.

    In April 2020, the nationwide crisis meant over a third (99) of our employees were on furlough leave, the majority (79) were male. This was a direct result of some site operations closing, albeit temporarily, until we were able to solve the challenge of working safely. In line with the Government Equalities Office, those on furlough leave are not included in the majority of the required calculations and their absence is therefore reflected within the figures. At a high level the proportion of men and women furloughed are broadly similar to the overall workforce mix, however the operational issues brought on by the pandemic may have impacted pay for those on our projects, who are predominantly men.

    We want to continue to build our teams, encourage development for all our employees and work within our guiding principles to encourage a team spirit that recognises everyone’s contribution matters.

    At Knights Brown today, 84% of employees are men and 16% women; this is a very similar picture to 2018. In the snapshot year (12 months preceding April 2020), 18% of new starters were female, which we recognise falls short of an acceptable level. We’re continuing to take action to address the imbalance. Looking just at emerging talent (apprentices, trainees, graduates and placement students) as of April 2021, over 14% of the current headcount is from this category, a figure we are rightly proud of.

    We have adapted how we recruit to meet the changing requirements of Covid-19, and this year virtual careers events and recruitment interviews have taken centre stage. We were encouraged to see half of those attending assessment dates have been female, looking to enter the industry either as placement students or graduates. As a direct result, six of the 12 summer placement, YII and graduates who will join the business in 2021 are female (recruited to date).

    We have two women in the senior leadership team contributing to the strategic direction of the business, one of whom is a board director.


    The gender pay gap is often confused with equal pay. It doesn’t measure equal pay, which relates to what men and women are paid for the same role or jobs of equal value. Equal pay is a legal requirement under the Equality Act 2010. Gender pay shows the difference between what the average female and the average male earns.

    Our aim in reporting gender pay is to enable Knights Brown to understand the size of the gap and look at closing it, as it’s particularly prevalent in the construction industry. External factors have significantly affected where the industry is today. The gap cannot be fixed by a sole focus on the short term, rather a long term strategy is required to change perceptions inside and outside the industry and bring more women into it. Our diversity and inclusion programme will help us address this directly in the longer term.

    Pay for the purposes of gender pay gap reporting, does not include overtime payments or benefits in kind but does include all additional payments made as a matter of course within normal contractual hours, including any shift/travel payments, paid breaks, car allowances, etc.


    Mean Gender Pay Gap

    This calculation shows the difference between the average (mean) rates of pay for men and women, expressed as a percentage in April 2020. We have seen a marked improvement in our mean gender pay gap, which has reduced from 24% to 12% over the last two years.

    • The mean hourly rate of pay for men: £20.09
    • The mean hourly rate of pay for women: £17.61

    The difference between the two figures, our gender pay gap, is 12.35%.

    This means that for every £1 earned by a man, a woman earns just under 88p regardless of role.

    Median Gender Pay Gap

    This calculation shows the difference between the median rates of pay for men and women, expressed as a percentage in April 2020. In other words, if you place all the men and women into two lists in order of salary the median is the difference in pay between the middle ranking man and woman.

    The median can help us to draw out what is ‘typical’ as it is less distorted by very high or very low pay.

    • The median hourly rate of pay of men: £17.31, a 9% increase from £15.87 in 2018
    • The median hourly rate of pay for women: £14.66, 7.5% increase from £13.64 in 2018

    The difference between the two figures, our median gender pay gap, is 15.31% compared to 14.05% in 2018.

    Proportion of men and women in each quartile of pay

    The comparison with 2018 remains disappointing but is not unexpected. We have however seen an increase in the percentage of women in the upper quartile of pay, from 8.6% to 13.2% of employees.

    Those roles in the upper quartile of pay are 40% operational, 22% in each of work winning and commercial, and 16% directors; there are still insufficient numbers of women in these higher paid roles. However, it is pleasing to have a greater proportion of women in new entrant roles, who we must continue to encourage into construction to address this imbalance over the longer term.

    Within the lower pay quartile, 30% of employees are female compared to 27% in 2018.

    Bonus payments

    Bonus payments for the purposes of the calculations include long service award voucher payments.

    The proportion of men and women receiving a bonus is very similar with 57% of women and men receiving a bonus over the 12 month period.

    The average (mean) bonus payment varies however, with men who receive a bonus receiving an average bonus of £2,325 compared to the average bonus for women receiving a bonus of £1,458. This brings the average bonus gap to 37%.

    The median ‘typical’ bonus payment is however, the same for both male and female employees.


    In 2019 we achieved the IIP Gold standard. At the time it was commented that a greater sense of teamwork and collaboration was seen since the previous visit, with 71% of respondents stating they feel positive about the level of empowerment and involvement within the business.

    Our New Entrant Development Programme, which is in its third year, has been designed to incorporate diversity and inclusion within each element of the module and our delegates are actively encouraged through these sessions to discuss how we can improve our culture.

    At Knights Brown we have taken steps to bring diversity and inclusion to the fore and the launch of our ‘Everyone’ programme will keep us focused to drive improvements in gender equality. Our priorities over the next five years are outlined in this document and over the coming 12 months, we intend to:

    • Maximise opportunities to celebrate the work of under-represented groups in our business.
    • Target schools in all divisions and create opportunities to encourage students into construction careers. Partner with a college attended by under-represented groups.
    • Develop a robust process for capturing data on recruitment, promotion and employment relations and undertake a monitoring programme for current employees.
    • Update our equal opportunities policy.
    • Embed inclusion in our leadership and management capability matrix.
    • Introduce diversity and inclusion training.
    • Consider how to reach disadvantaged groups so we can support individuals to find employment and understand the opportunities available in construction.
    • Include diversity and inclusion questions in our 2021 employee survey to help us gauge inclusivity.
    • Relaunch our ‘great place to work’ forum.
    • Reflect on how to make our working practices more agile.
    • Enable employees to share their stories to promote diversity.

    We anticipate our gender pay gap may increase next year as we will be comparing against a snapshot period this year hit by Covid-19. We are however, looking forward to being able to reflect on the progress of our ‘Everyone’ programme.