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New Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick has opted to take a lower salary than that of her predecessor Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe. Is she setting a good example or exacerbating gender pay inequality, asks Ruth Thomas?
A few feathers were ruffled last week when it was announced that Cressida Dick – who had just been appointed as the most powerful police officer in the country – had volunteered to take a salary £40,000 lower than her predecessor Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe.
The reasons for the new commissioner choosing to take a 15% pay cut have not been revealed, other than it was a “personal choice”. Cressida Dick was offered £270,648 plus benefits, the same as her predecessor, but instead opted to receive a salary of £230,000.
Yet some commentators have questioned – especially given the arrival of gender pay gap reporting Regulations last week – whether she was unintentionally contributing to gender pay inequality or even undermining the cause?
It is interesting to note that another female trailblazer, Theresa May, took the same salary as David Cameron (£150,402) when she took office.
Setting an example
Ms Dick’s decision may have been to set an example and tackle some of the pay for tenure issues revealed by the Met when it published its gender pay gap data back in November 2016.
The figures revealed an overall gender pay difference of 11.6%, which is below the national average of 19.2% (and below the average in London which stands at 16.3%).
In the Met’s report, something that was cited as a key factor impacting the pay gap was that fewer female police officers had progressed to the top of th