Ethnicity pay gap reports

We are striving to create a workplace in which all people feel included and valued. As part of our journey towards greater equality, diversity and inclusion, we are voluntarily reporting our ethnicity pay gap.

Publishing the data is part of our commitment to making a difference. We think it’s important to demonstrate transparency. We know we have much to do to make change and are not complacent when faced with this data. Tackling this gap is at the heart of our Workforce Diversity Action plan.

The ethnicity pay gap explained

At the Museum, we pay people the same rate for doing the same job. We have a clear job evaluation process and grading system which allows for roles to be paid equally.

The ethnicity pay gap shows the difference in the average hourly rate of pay between Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) and White employees, expressed as a percentage of average White staff earnings. This is calculated using the same calculation methodology as for gender pay gap reporting. 

Organisationally, we use the term 'marginalised ethnicities' when we talk about our people. We are mindful of the different trajectories and lived experiences of specific ethnic groups and want to avoid complacency in thinking of all individuals from marginalised ethnic groups as a collective but for this report we are unable to disaggregate the data into specific groups due to sample size.

To ensure the data is consistent for benchmarking purposes we are using the term BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) but are aware of all the limitations of this term. Ethnic minorities includes White minorities such as Gypsy, Roma and Irish Traveller groups. 

Read more about our pay gap report from 2021 below, or download the report as a PDF.

Reporting our ethnicity pay gap

The below information is based on data from April 2021.

Pay difference

The mean pay difference in hourly pay between BAME and White employees is 16%.

The median pay difference in hourly pay between BAME and White employees is 14%.

Two graphs showing the difference in hourly pay between Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) and White employees.

Percentage of staff

We examined the percentage of Museum staff from a BAME background and split the data by hourly rates in four equal groups, or quartiles. Quartile 1 shows the lowest hourly rates and quartile 4 shows the highest.

Quartile 1 breakdown:

20% BAME

75% White

5% unknown

Quartile 2 breakdown:


88% White

3% unknown

Quartile 3 breakdown:

11% BAME

83% White

6% unknown

Quartile 4 breakdown:


92% White

3% unknown

Four grpahs showing the percentage of staff from a Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) background in each quartile.

We can see in the data that there is a larger percentage of staff from BAME backgrounds in the more junior rather than senior roles and our ethnicity pay gap is driven by this lack of representation. 

The ethnicity split across the whole Museum is 13% BAME, 83% White and 4% unknown.

We are a local, national and international organisation so for benchmarking purposes this is in comparison to a London population that is 40% BAME and 60% White, and an overall UK population that is 13% BAME and 87% White.

Taking action to reduce our ethnicity pay gap

We know we need to do more and we know this will take time. We have developed a Diversity and Inclusion Workforce action plan and in 2021, we recruited a Head of Diversity and Talent to lead this work within the HR department.

The plan has eight key objectives which includes a focus on pathways to employment, attraction, selection, induction and leadership. We know we have to undertake an enormous amount of work to redress the imbalance we see in our workforce today.

Our current initiatives

  • We have changed our recruitment processes to mitigate unconscious bias and have removed names from application forms. We are also upskilling managers to conduct competency based interviews. As a result, we expect to see a greater percentage of BAME applicants be shortlisted and subsequently appointed at all levels of the organisation.
  • As staff from BAME backgrounds make up 20% of our overall roles in our lowest pay quartile, we have been concentrating on filling vacancies through internal recruitment wherever possible. This is not only to invest in our own staff but to give people more opportunity to develop their careers in more senior roles within the Museum.
  • We have set recruitment targets, based on the percentage of hires, which aim to tackle the overall lack of representation of staff from BAME backgrounds within the Museum. We have also demanded of recruitment companies that we work with, that there must be reasonable representation in all long and short lists presented to the Museum. 
  • We are working on a funded project to encourage more students from BAME backgrounds to pursue careers in Science, where there is less diversity than in other parts of the Museum. 
  • We are reviewing progression and career pathways and linking this with our Learning and Development plan to ensure we are upskilling staff and enabling them to move up in the organisation. 
  • We are training our people managers in coaching techniques so they can have effective career conversations and help their staff achieve their ambitions. 
  • We have briefed all our managers on pay management and issued guidelines to ensure fairness and consistency at recruitment, and also how to submit requests for pay increases and regrading. We have clear pay grading bands and a job evaluation process with multiple levels of sign off for transparency.

Over the next few years we will be working through this action plan, building on this foundation and plan to introduce mutual mentoring and develop positive action talent programmes.

We recognise that to succeed, we need to ensure we have created the right culture and working environment. We are aiming to create an organisation where everyone can thrive in their job.

In 2021 we launched our Behaviour and Respect at Work policy and rolled out mandatory training sessions for all managers. We believe all employees have the right to work in an inclusive environment where they are shown respect and consideration, and in which the diversity and dignity of every individual is valued and recognised.

Our most Senior managers have undertaken Inclusive Leadership Training and Tackling Racism in the Workplace training, and every member of Museum staff will have undertaken diversity and inclusion training by the end of January 2022.

Building a diverse and inclusive workforce remains a top priority for the Museum and we are moving in the right direction. In the last year we have seen a 10% increase in the number of staff from BAME backgrounds employed by the Museum. 

Last updated

This page was last updated on 13 December 2021.