Today marks Diwali, India’s most important celebration of the year; millions will be celebrating globally. 

Organisational DE&I is therefore at the forefront of discussions.

However, Harnham’s annual State of Diversity in Data and Analytics report finds that there has been little change in the diversity of industry over the last 12 months, despite employers listing it as a priority.

The gender pay gap decreased overall but a gap of 14 percent between male and female professionals with parental responsibilities has opened up.

Also, the ethnicity pay gap is up over 50 percent from last year.

Diversity is decreasing as seniority rises – representation of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic professionals falls from 42 percent at Entry-level to just 16 percent at Head of/Director level.

There is, however, some good news for first roles in data – gender parity stands at 40 percent, in comparison to the overall 28 percent of roles being filled by women.


The ethnicity divide  

White/Caucasian professionals make up a smaller percentage of the Data & Analytics industry (75%) than they do of the UK population as a whole (86% nationally) making the data industry across the board one of the more ethnically diverse prominent industries in the UK

But just because there are fewer white professionals than the national average, not all other ethnicities are seeing increased representation. 

While Asian/Asian British professionals account for 15 percent of the industry (vs 7.8% in the 2011 census), Black/African/Caribbean/Black British professionals only account for 3 percent of the industry (vs 3.5% in the 2011 census).  


Ethnicity pay gap 

In previous guides, the gender pay gap has exceeded the ethnicity pay gap, often by some distance. This year, however, this is no longer the case, as it now sits at 8 percent (vs 6% with gender), a pay gap up over 50 percent from last year.  

The highest-paid individual group in the Data & Analytics industry are White/Caucasian men, who earn an average of £69,260 per year, whilst the lowest paid group, are women from a Black/African/Caribbean/Black British background, who earn an average of £53,850; a pay gap of 22%.


Gender divide

As in 2021, 28 percent of Data & Analytics professionals across the entire industry are women. While this does not signal significant improvement, it does imply that last year’s fall in numbers was not the beginning of an ongoing downward trend. 

However, the gender balance in professionals who are in their first role in data, moves significantly closer to parity, increasing to 40%, up from 28% across the entire industry.

Nevertheless, there are certain sectors – Data & Technology, Data Science and Digital Analytics – which report fewer female professionals than last year. Most prominently, Digital Analytics reported a drop from 37 percent female, to 32 percrent.

Gender pay gap

The gender pay gap across professionals in Data & Analytics is 6 percent. This is not only an improvement on last year’s figure, but also falling below the UK average of 9.8 percent – a broadly positive sign.

However, there are areas where pay inequality is more prominent, such as for parents. Male professionals with parental responsibilities earn £76,700 on average, whereas female professionals in the same position take home significantly less – an average of £65,580; a pay gap of 14 percent.

These figures are tempered by the fact that all specialisms we surveyed reported a gap smaller than the UK average, ranging from 9 percent in Data & Technology to -1 percent (as in the gap favoured women) in Marketing & Insight.



Despite rising awareness around the importance of equality in leadership, there is a significant trend of diversity decreasing as seniority rises. 

Representation of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic professionals falls from 42 percent at Entry-level to just 16 percent at Head of/Director level.

Whilst less extreme within gender, with women accounting for 35 percent of Entry-level professionals and 26 percent of Head of/Directors across the industry, with nearly 40 percent of UK FTSE 100 board positions being held by women, the Data & Analytics industry appears to be falling behind. 

There are several potential reasons for this but taking an extended career break (of over three months) for childcare may have an impact. 

While 21 percent of women working in Data & Analytics had taken an extended break for this reason, the same was true for only 3 percent of male professionals.


Commenting on this year’s findings, David Farmer, CEO of Harnham, said: 

Although we should be positive about the progress the industry has made, clearly, this is not the time to hang up our boots.  

“It is vital to us that we continue to monitor the industry’s progress and do not shy away from revealing where gaps exist. There is no benefit in burying our heads in the sand, we must instead continue striving forwards. 

“I am particularly proud that this year’s guide features a foreword from Sadiqah Musa, founder of one of Harnham’s diversity partners, Black in Data.  

“Sadiqah has a wealth of experience in the data industry and her insights as a leader of an organisation looking to drive positive change in the industry are invaluable.   

“We know that change takes time, but I firmly believe that if businesses and, crucially, educational institutions keep pushing for better diversity, we will see significant change over the next five to ten years.”






Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.