IMPORTANT Website terms of use and cookie statement

RIBA publishes 2021 gender and ethnicity pay gap data

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has today reported its gender and ethnicity pay data for 2021.

01 April 2022

Each year, organisations with more than 250 employees are required to report their gender pay gap data. The gender pay gap is the difference between the average earning of men and women.

This is the fifth year that the RIBA has reported gender pay gap data. For the first time we are also publishing our ethnicity pay gap data. This is the difference between the average earning of white and non-white individuals.

Insights from both sets of data will enable us to develop targeted actions to improve gender and ethnicity representation and parity across our organisation.

We have outlined our 2021 gender and ethnicity pay gap data below. This snapshot was taken on 5 April 2021, when the RIBA employed 310 members of staff.


Gender pay

  • median gender pay gap: 11.32% - up from 9.49% the previous year
  • mean gender pay gap: 18.91% - up from 18.33% the previous year
  • proportion of men in the organisation receiving a bonus payment: 3.51%
  • proportion of women in the organisation receiving a bonus payment: 0.00%
  • mean bonus gender pay gap: 100%
  • median bonus gender pay gap: 100%

Proportion of females and males at each salary quartile

 Quartile  Female  Male
 Upper quartile  47.44%  52.56%
 Upper middle quartile  66.23%  33.77%
 Lower middle quartile  64.10%  35.90%
 Lower quartile  75.32%  24.68%

 Total workforce  Female  Male
   63.23%  36.77%


Ethnicity pay

  • median ethnicity pay gap: 5.62%  
  • mean ethnicity pay gap: 1.29% 
  • proportion of white people in the organisation receiving a bonus payment: 50%* 
  • proportion of non-white people in the organisation receiving a bonus payment: 25%* 
  • mean bonus gender pay gap: 80.25%* 
  • median bonus gender pay gap: 80.25%* 

*note: incomplete data impacting results 

Proportion of white and non-white people at each salary level 

 Quartile  White  Non-white  Not reportable
 Upper  78.21%  20.51%  1.28%
 Upper middle  79.22%  12.99%  7.79%
 Lower middle  76.92%  21.79%  1.28%
 Lower  72.73%  19.48%  7.79%

 Total workforce  White  Non-white  Not reportable
   76.77%  18.71%  4.52%


RIBA CEO, Alan Vallance, said:

“Reviewing our gender pay gap data and, this year, for the first time, our ethnicity pay gap data, is a valuable process that enables us to identify and address disparities within our organisation.

In 2021, our mean gender pay gap saw an increase on the previous year of 0.58%. This is due to the net loss of three females in the top three quartiles (five females left, compared to two males) and the net loss of six males in the lower quartile (five males left and one female joined). This compounds the fact that whilst RIBA’s staff body is mainly female (63.23% female and 36.77% male), our female colleagues continue to be disproportionately overrepresented in the lower levels and disproportionately underrepresented at senior levels – resulting in a mean gender pay gap of 18.91%. We know this must be addressed.

In terms of ethnicity, our 2021 data shows that most RIBA employees are white. At most levels of the organisation, non-white individuals make up 20% of staff - aside from the upper middle quartile, where this figure is just less than 13%. Overall, our mean ethnicity pay gap of 1.29% is a key starting figure on which we can benchmark progress.

I note that gaps in our data will impact results – for example the ethnicity pay gap data on bonuses is incomplete and therefore not statistically robust.

Since this data was captured, our transformation programme has swung into action and it’s continuing to progress, at pace. Creating and embedding a new organisational structure gives us a clear opportunity to improve both pay gaps as we adapt and recruit for new roles.

Mindful of intersectional identities, we will be looking at our 2022 data in even more detail to identify further disparities. This will help us to develop a long-term targeted action plan, that focuses on the key areas of recruitment, retention and progression. We expect this work to be positively reflected in our results in the coming years.

Finally, I encourage all practices and members to examine their own pay gaps and look at where action can be taken to support women and underrepresented racialised groups in the workplace because, no matter your organisation’s size, gender and ethnicity representation and parity matters.”

You can find our own gender pay gap guidance here.

The CIPD has created ethnicity pay gap guidance which can be accessed here.

Latest updates

keyboard_arrow_up To top