The Request (dated 26 February 2018) * later clarified on 28 February 2018 

Dear Sir,
 
Please can I make the following request under the Freedom of Information Act.
 
Background
I am privately researching how gender impacts recruitment practices across different job grades and types of public-sector and allied organisations - universities, museums and other cultural organisations.  My goal is to determine whether gender policies manifest as 'equality of opportunity' and/or 'equality of outcome'.  The request therefore is concerned with exploring gender balance through the various stages of the recruitment process.
 
Time Period
The data requested should cover the most recent twelve months for which data is available.
 
Data
I am requesting the following:
1.An answer (or direction to appropriate published material) to the following questions: 
1.Are new appointments always made at the lowest point in the grade band, or are market supplements, or their equivalent (e.g. contribution points), ever added to the minimum?
2.Does the Institution have an 'affirmative action/positive discrimination/quota system' style recruitment policy with regards specifically to gender i.e. Are recruitment practices preferential, either by policy or practice, in favour or against a specific gender or group of genders?
2.The grade structure of the Institution with salary bands, i.e. what grades does the museum categorise jobs into.
3.The number of vacancies advertised externally by the Institution at each grade during the time period.
4.The summary ratio, or count, of applicants by gender for all jobs in each specific grade.
5.The summary ratio, or count, of applicants invited to interview, by gender for jobs in each specific grade.
6.The summary ratio, or count of applicants offered positions, by gender for jobs in each specific grade.
 
Options for response
For questions 3 onwards, I am expecting that the Institution may be able to provide a response similar to the following example:
 
                  Grade 1
                  Number of vacancies: 42
                  Total Applicants: 1,232 (male: 600, female: 600, other: 232)
                  Candidates invited for interview: 164 (male: 84, female: 64, other: 16)
                  Candidates offered positions: 40 (male: 19, female 19, other:2)
 
                  Grade 2
                  etc.....
 
If the Institution does not retain equal opportunities data by grade, it will be acceptable, though not preferable, to provide total numbers for all grades. Similarly, a ratio could be provided if a count is not available, though absolute numbers would be preferred.   For two-stage interview processes, ratios or counts, should be provided for each stage if available.
 
If provision of this data proves excessively burdensome, but it would be possible for me to derive the requested information from raw spreadsheet data, it would be acceptable to instead provide that spreadsheet if it would be feasible for me to derive the requested information from it.
 
It perhaps goes without saying that all data should be anonymised.
 
Yours faithfully
 
* UK Operations only is fine
 

Our Response (dated 29 March 2018)

Dear
 
Thank you for your request for information dated 26 February 2018, which you later clarified on 28 February 2018, concerning recruitment practises, recruitment policies and vacancies by ratio. Your request has been handled under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 2000 and has been passed to me for reply.
 
For your ease of reference I have restated your request below in bold and have provided our response beneath each point.
 
1.An answer (or direction to appropriate published material) to the following questions: 
1.Are new appointments always made at the lowest point in the grade band, or are market supplements, or their equivalent (e.g. contribution points), ever added to the minimum?
Our aim is to recruit at the lowest point of the scale; any exception to this is based on the market competiveness of the role in question. We pay a London Market Allowance for roles based in London in addition to base salary.
 
2.Does the Institution have an 'affirmative action/positive discrimination/quota system' style recruitment policy with regards specifically to gender i.e. Are recruitment practices preferential, either by policy or practice, in favour or against a specific gender or group of genders?
No 
 
2.The grade structure of the Institution with salary bands, i.e. what grades does the museum categorise jobs into.
 
We publish our UK Pay Policy on our website, which provides details of our UK grade structure. 
 
 
3.The number of vacancies advertised externally by the Institution at each grade during the time period.
4.The summary ratio, or count, of applicants by gender for all jobs in each specific grade.
5.The summary ratio, or count, of applicants invited to interview, by gender for jobs in each specific grade.
6.The summary ratio, or count of applicants offered positions, by gender for jobs in each specific grade.
 
Pay Band 4
Number of vacancies: 19
Total Applicants: 3,299 (male: 21.46%, female: 42.65%, Prefer not to say/Not given: 35.89%)
Candidates that made it to interview: 34 (male: 38.24%, female: 58.82%, Prefer not to say/Not given: 2.94%)
Candidates that were offered the position: 11 (male: 18.18%, female: 81.82%, Prefer not to say/Not given: 0.00%)
 
Pay Band 6
Number of vacancies: 81
Total Applicants: 6,035 (male: 20.93%, female: 41.94%, Prefer not to say/Not given: 37.13%)
Candidates that made it to interview: 280 (male: 25.00%, female: 72.14%, Prefer not to say/Not given: 2.86%)
Candidates that were offered the position: 72 (male: 18.06%, female: 77.78%, Prefer not to say/Not given: 4.17%)
 
Pay Band 7
Number of vacancies: 99
Total Applicants: 3781 (male: 28.93%, female: 37.00%, Prefer not to say/Not given: 34.07%)
Candidates that made it to interview: 240 (male: 29.17%, female: 63.33%, Prefer not to say/Not given: 7.50%)
Candidates that were offered the position: 63 (male: 31.75%, female: 65.08%, Prefer not to say/Not given: 3.17%)
 
Pay Band 8
Number of vacancies: 106
Total Applicants: 3280 (male: 33.57%, female: 30.73%, Prefer not to say/Not given: 35.70%)
Candidates that made it to interview: 259 (male: 35.52%, female: 48.26%, Prefer not to say/Not given: 16.22%)
Candidates that were offered the position: 52 (male: 28.85%, female: 55.77%, Prefer not to say/Not given: 15.38%)
 
Senior Management Band
Number of vacancies: 80
Total Applicants: 2850 (male: 38.18%, female: 29.72%, Prefer not to say/Not given: 32.11%)
Candidates that made it to interview: 173 (male: 46.82%, female: 37.57%, Prefer not to say/Not given: 15.61%)
Candidates that were offered the position: 38 (male: 39.47%, female: 42.11%, Prefer not to say/Not given: 18.42%)
 
 
For questions 3 onwards, I am expecting that the Institution may be able to provide a response similar to the following example:
 
                  Grade 1
                  Number of vacancies: 42
                  Total Applicants: 1,232 (male: 600, female: 600, other: 232)
                  Candidates invited for interview: 164 (male: 84, female: 64, other: 16)
                  Candidates offered positions: 40 (male: 19, female 19, other:2)
 
                  Grade 2
                  etc.....
 
All of the information provided relates to British Council UK Operations, as clarified by you on 28 February 2018.
 
I hope the information provided has been useful. 
 
If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have the right to ask for an internal review. Internal review requests should be submitted within two months of the date of receipt of the response to your original letter and should be addressed to: 
 
Information Governance Advisor (Disclosures)
Information Governance and Risk Management 
British Council
Bridgewater House
58 Whitworth Street
Manchester
M1 6BB 
 
 
If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have a right to appeal to the Information Commissioner for a decision at: 
 
The Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
 
Phone: 0303 123 1113 
 
 
Yours sincerely