Diversity and Inclusion

First Rate is committed to eliminating discrimination and encouraging diversity in its workforce.  We aim to create a culture that respects and values each other’s differences, that promotes dignity, equality and diversity and that encourages individuals to develop and maximise their true potential.


Following our 2022 Diversity & Inclusion Employee Survey, we implemented the following…

  • Respondents said they wanted more training on D&I. In order to address this we rolled out specific training on LGBTQ+ Inclusivity and on Race as well as regular articles and insights published internally about all manner of issues and topics related to D&I
  • Respondents said that they wanted to see from senior leaders on the D&I agenda. A new role was created in 2022 to help drive the focus on the D&I agenda; this is sponsored by our Chief Executive Officer and monthly updates are given on the Exec Team meeting and in Senior Leader events.
  • Respondents wanted to see more diversity at senior levels in the business. This is improving but still work in progress.  Our recruitment process has been reviewed, and our people strategy for 2023/24 continues to focus on development and retention of existing employees, as well as training for new managers along with the continued work on how we attract a wider spectrum of individuals to apply for positions here at First Rate.
  • Respondents felt we could do more to support and enable employees and managers to talk openly about D&I issues. Along with the activity listed above, we have established a volunteer employee network resource group called ‘Umbrella’ to generate and listen to employee feedback with the view to influence senior leaders.


A key area of focus is Gender Equality.


Every year, organisations of 250 people or more are required to report on their gender pay gap in order to work towards creating a fair balance in earnings between men and women in the UK.  First Rate have voluntarily published this report for the last 3 years, as although we have fallen below the head count threshold, we are committed to creating a more diverse and equal working environment for everyone.

You can view our report here.


Our median pay gap for 21/22 has improved versus 20/21, but we still have a way to go. Our gender pay gap is due to the disparity between men and women in senior roles, and we are confident that for roles of the same level and type the pay is equal.


What are we doing to address this?


Examples of activities include the following…


  • We endeavour to ensure equal or majority female representation in shortlists for recruitment and promotions
  • We use structured interview questions for recruitment and promotions
  • We are continuously improving recruitment practices to support equal opportunities, such as the introduction of a Resource Decision Making template
  • We review salaries at each role type to ensure that there is no disparity between men and women
  • We are doing more to accommodate flexible working for men and women
  • We encourage the uptake of shared parental leave