Novus Gender Pay Gap Report 2023

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Gender Pay Gap Report


2023 Figures

Why we’re reporting on Gender Pay...

We believe that reporting on Gender Pay is important, that is why we produce and provide insight into the steps we are taking rather than just producing a report that meets our legal obligations. Enforcing the need to report is a key step in encouraging businesses from all sectors, but especially those like construction where representation is limited, to be transparent when it comes to pay for all colleagues, with a specific focus on gender.

We have made significant strides to attract more women to Novus and this report outlines the steps we have taken to achieve yearly increases. We do however acknowledge that with just over 21% female representation, there is more work to do.

We are continuing to work closely with our colleagues, suppliers and industry experts to continue our ambition to recruit more women into our business, whilst we focus on this, we also are ensuring we focus on developing our female colleagues to support their career growth and therefore their movement into the higher pay quartiles.

Novus continually champion women to develop their careers and this year we have seen some great results with 33% of all internal promotions to more senior positions being achieved by women.

A message from our CEO

I reflect on the 2023 year with mixed emotions as like most businesses we continued to face significant external pressures as we navigated a challenging and highly competitive market.

Despite these challenges I am immensely proud that we have continued to lower our Gender Pay Gap for the 5th consecutive year. This is testament to our continued commitment to our people and ensuring that they see us continuing to develop internally, enabling everyone to feel that they belong here at Novus. Although we are making progress we recognise there is more to be achieved and we will continue to focus on increasing our diversity and promoting inclusion as we know this will ensure our Pay Gap continues to reduce.

Along with our efforts to address our Gender Pay Gap we continue to focus on the wellbeing of our people. This focus saw us deliver 4 successful wellbeing months which focused on ensuring colleagues are looking after their mental, financial, and physical health. We also focused on their own self development as a route to maintaining wellbeing. Our first Wellbeing Month saw us take the decision to stand our 800 colleagues down for an hour in February to launch our Say it Out Loud initiative, encouraging colleagues to take time out to check in on each other and ask, ‘no, are you really okay?’.

Working closely with the Lighthouse Club Construction Charity and taking part in their #makeitvisible roadshow has further enabled us to continue the focus on removing the stigma around mental health in our workplace. Over 200 colleagues across 10 sites have attended one of the face-to-face sessions. We continue to focus on support for colleagues’ wellbeing and have more than doubled the number of mental health first aiders in the business.

Our people centric approach to wellbeing, ensures we put our colleagues first. This was recognised at the Northern Housing awards where we won the employee wellbeing category.

The launch of our inclusion strategy ‘Without U There is No US’ in 2022 ensured that everyone could be clear on our position, our ambitions, and

our successes factors when it comes to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. To say that 2023 saw us build on the foundations of success created in 2022, would be an understatement when we reflect on the continued focus and importance, we as a business continue to direct towards Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion. We continue to strive towards a workplace where all our colleagues, regardless of background, experience or any difference can truly feel like they belong at Novus.

As I take on the role of CEO I will continue to support the commitments that have previously been made to reduce our Gender Pay Gap, continuing to drive up our colleagues sense of belonging, and to ensure that Novus provides a culture where nobody ever goes home feeling like they have been discriminated against or treated unfairly. I want to ensure that colleagues at all levels are clear that without exception everyone is given a fair opportunity to thrive and achieve their career aspirations here at Novus.

Gender Pay Statistics

Please see our Gender Pay figures below for 2022/2023 and previous years.


This shows the percentage by which women’s average pay is lower, when compared to men.

Hourly Mean
Workforce Hourly Median
2020/2021 2020/2021 2021/2022 2021/2022 2022/2023 2022/2023 30% 20% 10% 0% 30% 20% 10% 0% 15.2% 14% 13.2% 14.5% 17.8% 12.4% 4.8% decrease 5.5% decrease 2.6% decrease 1.2% decrease 0.8% increase 1.3% increase 1.2% decrease 2022/2023 14% 1.3% increase 2022/2023 14.5% 2022/2023 Workforce Gender split 21.5% 78.5%

Hourly Pay Statistics

Overview – The pay quartiles in 2023 represent higher salaries than those shown in the previous year’s report. There are more women in the highest two quartiles (12 more than in 2022) however, the lowest pay quartile has also grown to have more women in it. There are 83 women in this pay quartile in 2023, which is 10 more than last year. This increase is a consequence of positive steps we are taking to bring more women into the industry, therefore the number of women we have joining us as apprenticeships or at early career stage is increasing.

Hourly Upper Quartile Hourly 2nd Quartile Hourly 3rd Quartile Hourly Lower Quartile 38.8% 61.2% 2020/21 2020/21 2020/21 2020/21 2021/22 2021/22 2021/22 2021/22 2022/23 2022/23 2022/23 2022/23
Overview 13.9% 86.1% 10.8% 89.2% 11.8% 88.2% 8.4% 91.6% 13.4% 86.6% 12.6% 87.4% 15.6% 84.4% 12.6% 87.4% 41.9% 58.1% 16.1% 83.9% 50.9% 49.1%

Bonus Payments

Whilst we have reduced the gap between the number of men and women receiving a bonus, there are still significantly more men receiving a bonus than women. In total we paid 192 colleagues a bonus, of these 140 were operational colleagues. The demographics of our organisation are such that the majority of colleagues who undertake these role types currently are male. The bonuses attached to these roles are productivity/performance based as opposed to on a targeted and annual basis. This approach is consistently applied to all colleagues in this role type, however, only four of them are female.

Employees receiving bonus 2020/21 27.1% 4.0% 2021/22 2022/23 32.2% 28.8% 2.7% 7% Hourly Mean Hourly Median 2020/2021 2020/2021 2021/2022 2021/2022 2022/2023 2022/2023 100% 0% -100% -200% 100% 0% -100% -200% -300% -400% -102.3% -17.6% -59.6% -87.3% -145.7% -312% 254% increase 27.7% decrease 84.7% increase 2022/2023 -17.6% 27.7% decrease 2022/2023 -87.3% 43.4% increase 84.7% increase
Bonus Upper Quartile Bonus 2nd Quartile 6.3% 93.7% 2020/21 2020/21 2021/22 2021/22 2022/23 2022/23 4% 96.0% 7.1% 92.9% 8.3% 91.7% 10.4% 89.6% Bonus 3rd Quartile Bonus Lower Quartile 2020/21 2020/21 2021/22 2021/22 2022/23 2022/23 0% 100% 0% 100% 0% 100% 0.0% 100.0%
Overview 2.0% 98.0% 2.0% 98.0% 6.5% 93.5%
Bonus Payments

The results...

It is pleasing to see our mean Gender Pay gap continue to reduce, now at 14%. We are proud of the reduction and the work that we are doing as part of our 5 year People Strategy at Novus to continue this now 5 year trend.

Our median gap has increased to 14.5%, this increase is as a consequence of the work we are doing to attract more females into our industry through our entry level roles such as apprenticeships and trainees. We have more females in our higher pay quartiles this year, but also, have more in our lowest quartile.

We remain dedicated to delivering the commitments made in our People Plan and Inclusion Strategy which continue to make steps to remove inequality, ensuring all colleagues at Novus can have the opportunity to thrive.

What we are doing

Below is a summary of all the great activities that have taken place in 2023, specifically targeted to drive greater diversity.

Inclusion Strategy

2023 saw us launch two people related strategies with clear five-year plans attached. Both of which include metrics and aims that will support us to further reduce our Gender Pay gap. Our inclusion strategy, ‘Without U there is NO US’ solidifies our commitment as a business to ensuring Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging are at the heart of our business. The purpose of the strategy is simply that, ‘Nobody ever goes home after a working day and feels they have been discriminated against or treated unfairly’. To ensure we achieve this purpose we are continually measuring progress against the commitments and defined metrics.

1. Everyone is included and will feel able to be themselves without compromise to achieve a greater sense of belonging.

2. We will enhance education and development opportunities that support everyone, building a legacy where people can live, work, and thrive.

3. We will actively champion diversity and inclusion across our teams, partners, and the industry.

To continue the momentum of the launch of the Inclusion strategy, we have taken a specific focus on improving our colleague knowledge with regards to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. As part of this, new colleagues are enrolled onto the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion e-learning which promotes the ideal workplace, highlights unacceptable behaviour, clarifies the protected characteristics and shares practical improvements for all colleagues to adopt.

Furthermore, each of our policies has an equality impact assessment undertaken and appropriate action taken, where required, to ensure our language is inclusive, legally compliant and up to date.

Following a thorough review of our recruitment practice last year, we mobilised a one-day training program which would be offered to all our

managers to give them the opportunity to upskill on the external market, Novus recruitment process, CV Screening, Interview questioning skills, Bias and objectivity, Feedback and Onboarding. This training supports the effectiveness of our recruitment processes and ensures a great candidate experience in a challenging market. The training ensures that decision making is fair and ultimately leads to the right person joining our business.

In addition to this e-learning, this year we partnered with an external specialist to guide us on this journey and identify workshops which will support growth in this area. Earlier this year we hosted three live workshops on the Language of Inclusion, Microaggressions and Privilege, which were attended by a cross section of our workforce. We have since taken steps to mobilise this learning into an e-learning activity which will be shared with all people managers.

We have also met with over 300 colleagues as part of our ‘Say it Out Loud’ campaign where we encourage colleagues to open up and have difficult conversations around mental health. Facilitated by our Employee Assistance Provider with support from our HR and Health and Safety teams these sessions aim to remove the stigma around mental health and encourage our colleagues to check in on each other.

To ensure we are progressing in our internal inclusive practices we benchmark ourselves using the Business in the Community Tracker, and we are pleased that we have improved our overall score by 13%, and that since 2020 we have improved our score for Diversity and Inclusion by 5%. This shows the wider progress we are making in this area year on year when benchmarked externally.

What we are doing

Measuring our Diversity

From 2023 we have started to track and monitor the diversity data for applicants at the recruitment/application stage. We are then using this insight to support our gender balance across all roles, monitor trends and to identify opportunities to support colleagues from minority groups with the process.

In addition, we have captured the diversity of any colleague who attends a development activity. This will enable us to understand trends in the data and identify any barriers that may exist when accessing development. We want to ensure that there is a fair and consistent approach towards career development. Using the data captured will also provide us with a wealth of information to support the future design of programmes and challenge us to think of new ways of developing our colleagues.

Colleague Network Groups

Our five Colleague Networks continue to flourish. Sponsored by our Executive Directors and led by colleagues from within the business that represent the Network. The Networks have been instrumental in ensuring that we have the right policies to support colleagues including Family Friendly policies, our Menopause policy and our Carers policy.

More specifically our Women in Novus Network specifically petitions to advance and support the careers of females working at Novus and to attract new females into the industry. In recognition of this Novus has signed the Women in Construction Industry Pledge and the Menopause Workplace Pledge. The WiN network has 30 members, including females and allies. The Network meet regularly and discuss challenges specifically faced by our females at Novus and how those barriers can be removed to understand how the Network can influence the business strategy.

What we are doing

Pay and Benefits:

At Novus we continually review and benchmark our pay & benefits offering for colleagues, ensuring they are fair and competitive. The UK has faced unprecedented financial challenges with the cost of living and therefore to support our colleagues during this difficult time, we provided an additional one-off winter fuel payment to all colleagues. This built on the back of the same offering made in the previous year.

Charity Partners

We continue to work closely with Women in Social Housing (WISH), a Community Interest Company dedicated to attracting new female talent into the UK Housing Sector. We currently have two of our senior female colleagues supporting the charity as Board Members, with Claire BaileyJones, Business Development and Marketing Director, supporting as a board member for the North West and Gemma Edwards, Senior Business Development Manager as a board member for Yorkshire and Humberside In addition to our work with WISH, in 2023 we have started to work with Women into Construction (WIC) to support us to further increase the diversity of our workforce. We know that there are barriers to females looking to work in construction and believe that by working in partnership with WIC we can demonstrate our commitment to breaching that gap and promoting opportunities to women. Our membership with WIC will support our focus on increasing the gender balance at Novus.

What we are doing

Enhanced Policies to Support our Colleagues:

Following the introduction of several new policies last year, Novus have continually worked to gather feedback on these from our colleagues and in particular consulted with the new network groups on how well these new policies have been received. The feedback has been positive and in particular, females within the organisation, who generally take the burden of care responsibilities, have welcomed the introduction of paid carers leave to help them balance the work and their care commitments. In addition to this we have conducted an equality impact assessment on all our People Policies to ensure that processes are fair and do not present barriers to participation.

Listening to our colleagues to shape our future:

To support our ambition to continue to drive up colleague sense of belonging to 80% by 2026, we have spent time with colleagues from across the business, as part of our ‘Your Thoughts Matter’ initiative where which has seen the creation of two feedback channels that are always open and has seen us speak to over 300 colleagues as part of our employee voice forums. The employee voice forums generate key feedback trends that are then turned into both local and national actions, communicated back through the colleagues to ensure we are working on the right actions, doing more of what they love and removing the barriers to their sense of belonging.

In addition as part of our 10 year birthday celebrations colleagues around the country came together to celebrate. As part of this they completed a pulse survey to share their views on life at Novus which saw 71.59% of respondents answer positively regarding their sense of belonging at Novus when compared to 2022 (average positive scores and colleagues sense of belonging increased by 15%).

To ensure our new starters are also able to have their voices heard we have reached out to every new starter in and around their third week of employment. This call provides us with a good understanding of how they are feeling in their role, asking them a series of questions to give a real insight to their onboarding.

What we are doing


We are continuing to build on our success of attracting females to work in our business through our apprenticeship scheme. We received over 700 applications for the roles at the point of advertisement, 40% of the 2023 apprentices recruited were female.

The apprentices were fully onboarded and provided with a trained Mentor to support them on a day-to-day basis. The mentor training ensures that we have a consistent approach to supporting our apprentices and that they are equipped with a variety of models to complement their toolkit.

We also continue to offer our internal colleagues the opportunity to develop their career by apprenticeship. Currently we have 9% of our workforce enrolled on an apprenticeship and of this percentage, 34% are females.

This year we became a member of the 5% club, an external accreditation which demonstrates our continued commitment towards developing colleagues via an apprenticeship. As a business we aspire to have 10% of our colleagues undertaking an apprenticeship by 2025 and we are currently

tracking at 9%. Each year there are new standards which are released to support the apprenticeship strategy and this year we are pleased to have launched our first Data technician apprenticeship cohort. 37% of the cohort are females and we are looking forward to how this cohort apply their learning and support our Data-driven approach.

This year will see our first level 3 leadership and management cohort complete their apprenticeship. It has been an exciting journey for the cohort which consists of 63% females. We look forward to launching our second cohort in the near future to support our next tranche of future leaders.

Our support for people looking to start their career with us doesn’t just stop with apprentices, On our contract with the University of Manchester, we are providing traineeships and ongoing work placements on our sites. This traineeship involves taking on 1 trainee for 2 weeks at a time, supporting 20 trainees per annum.

What we are doing

Attraction, Recruitment and Onboarding

We have focused efforts in the way that we advertise our vacancies and now have processes in place to run all adverts through Gender de coder technology and reduced the criteria to only display the key essential criteria to perform the role.

In addition all our adverts now include a statement of encouragement to the applicant to apply, even if they do not meet the full role criteria. This has led to more diverse applications including increasing numbers of applications from women.

We ensure all our recruitment standards are consistently applied regardless of the role to ensure we find the right candidate. Processes in place are thorough and fair, our recruiting managers are trained and have competency-based interview questions for each role type based on the competency framework for that role. Through the questioning, we encourage candidates to display competencies and skill along with demonstrating their behaviours too. Our scoring matrix has been created alongside the questions to check answers are reviewed and scored fairly and consistently to validate the candidate is hired based on their competencies and behaviours alone.

We try to focus our time to dedicate to future generations to promote our messaging that there are roles in our sector for everyone. We have hosted and attended various events, a key part of these events is to encourage more females into our industry.

In March we took part in Build UK’s Open Doors event across our sites in Manchester. We welcomed school and college students to meet our team, and to showcase the opportunities within the construction sector beyond the bias of hard hats and boots.

Improving diversity at Novus

We remain fully committed to our Inclusion Strategy. We understand that to attract diverse talent we need to continue to ensure we create a culture where everyone can feel they belong, which will require us to seek new ways to move the dial on diversity related matters.

We recognise that we still have work to do to reduce our Gender Pay imbalance, but we are proud that our Mean Gap has continued to decline consistently for five years. We will continue to work towards a further reduction in this gap and to advocate for all matters relating to inclusion on behalf of our workforce, customers and clients to ensure that ultimately everyone can belong at Novus.


If you have any questions relating to this document or wish to know more, please do not hesitate to reach out to our People team


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