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7 October 2016

Civil Service Pay Gap widens

The newly released Civil Service Statistics for 2016 show that the gender pay gap in the Civil Service has widened. The figures also show an increasing feminisation of the Service.

At 31 March 2016, 54.2 per cent of all Civil Service employees were women, up 0.4 percentage points from 31 March 2015, with the proportion of women increasing in all responsibility levels. In the Executive Officer and Administrative responsibility levels there were more women than men. The proportion of female Grade 6 and 7s (the middling grades) has been steadily increasing, from 38.1 per cent in 2008 to 44.8 per cent in 2016, while the proportion of women working at Senior Civil Service level was 40.1 per cent, an increase of 1.2 percentage points from 2015 and 8.2 percentage points up on 31 March 2008.
More than 80 per cent of civil servants were in the 30 to 59 age group. Since 31 March 2015 there has been an increase in age band 16 to 19 of 330 (27.5 per cent) and age band 20 to 29 of 2,590 (6.5 per cent). All other age bands showed a decrease.
There were more women than men in the 20 to 29, 30 to 39, 40 to 49 and 50 to 59 age bands. There were more males than females in the 16-19, 60-64 and 65 and over age bands.
The gender pay gap for all employees was calculated as the difference between the median pay for males and females. The report does not include the gender pay gap calculated according to the mean.
The median gender pay gap increased from 12.0 per cent in March 2015 to 13.6 per cent in March 2016. The gender pay gap for full-time employees increased from 9.0 per cent to 12.0 per cent. There was a fall from 15.4 per cent to 11.5 per cent for part-time employees. For the “all employees” category the largest gender pay gap is for Senior and Higher Executive Officers, increasing from 3.8 per cent to 4.6 per cent. The Senior Civil Service level gender pay gap fell from 4.9 per cent to 3.7 per cent from March 2015 to March 2016.
While the report does not attempt to explain the widening of the gender pay gap, I think it may have something to do with the starting salaries for those entering the service. The report does not give details of the number of recruits entering at the different levels of responsibility, nor does it give the gender distribution of those entrants, but if the number of men entering at higher levels of responsibility (and therefore attracting higher salaries) is greater than the number of women, then this would tend to widen the gender pay gap. Similarly, if men entering the Service, at whatever level of responsibility, are put on higher starting salaries than their female counterparts, then this too would tend to widen the gap. I hope the Civil Service will dig a bit deeper into its statistics and find out why women appear to be losing out.
You can read the full report here.
For further information, contact Neil Hedges, cssurveys@ons.gsi.gov.uk  01633 456741



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