07 October 2016
The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics shows that more women work in the civil service than men, and that the female share of the workforce is increasing, but despite this the gender pay gap in the sector appears to have risen above the national average.
As of 31 March 2016, 54.2% of all civil service employees were women, up 0.4 percentage points from the year before. There were increases in the proportion of female staff at all responsibility levels, but this trend was particularly evident in more senior roles where there was a 1.2 percentage point rise in the last 12 months and an 8.2 percentage point improvement on figures from 2008.
Despite this, the gender pay gap in the sector widened on last year, bucking the national trend in which it has been gradually narrowing.
Women were paid less than their male colleagues at all levels of the civil service, with their median wages falling to 13.6% below men’s, compared with 12% in 2015. At a national level, the gender pay gap is at 9.4%, suggesting the civil service is more unequal than the average employer, although the figures are not directly comparable as national statistics are calculated using hourly pay rather than annual salary.
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “It’s worrying that pay for women in the civil service is falling behind men’s, especially for full timers and at senior levels. We know there have been drastic cuts to the workforce in recent years and caps on public-sector pay. The government should be monitoring the impact of these changes on women and considering what action is needed to reverse the widening pay gap.”