Department for Education reports gender pay gap

26 June 2017

The Department for Education is the first government department to publish its gender pay gap and bonus pay gap, setting an example to other employers on promoting gender equality in the workplace.

The department has reported a mean pay gap – the difference between average salaries for men and women - of 5.3% and a median pay gap of 5.9%. This is compared to the UK’s national gender pay gap of 18.1% which is the lowest since records began in 1997.

In April, the UK became one of the first countries in the world to require mandatory gender pay gap reporting, a key part of the government’s work to eliminate the gender pay gap. Private, public and voluntary sector employers with 250 or more employees will be required to publish their gender pay gap and bonus pay gap by April 2018.

The Department for Education is committed to reducing its gender pay gap and has introduced a range of initiatives to support women in the workplace, including:

  • Support for women returning to work: through shared parental leave, job sharing or part time opportunities. The department has also updated its guidance on supporting staff returning from maternity or adoption leave.

  • Helping women progress in their careers: through talent management schemes such as the Positive Action Pathway, open to all from protected characteristic groups.

  • Providing networks: the departmental women’s equality network, Network 58, runs upskilling events, promotes campaigns and holds talks to support women in the workplace.

  • Monitoring pay: to identify any pay differences and take targeted action where appropriate.

  • Improving the recruitment process: the department has anonymised the application process to reduce unconscious bias and ensuring that all interviewers have undergone unconscious bias training.

  • Focus on gender equality: the department has made gender equality a central part of the departmental Diversity and Inclusion strategy.

These initiatives have helped to create a culture that supports women in the workplace and have been supported by strong leadership across the organisation, helping to close the gender pay gap.

The information published shows the department has also reported a mean bonus pay gap of only 0.8% and a 0.0% median bonus pay gap. Its bonus awards are based on performance and this 0.0% pay gap reflects the fact that men and women’s performance is valued equally and fairly.

Breaking down the gender pay gap data by quartiles has helped the department to identify exactly where attention should be focused. Over half (55%) of the department’s senior civil servants are female and there is a higher proportion of women than men in the department’s top pay quartile. However, there is also a higher concentration of women to men in the department’s lowest pay quartile, which has contributed to the gender pay gap. Through the initiatives referenced above, the department will work to continue to support women’s progress in the workplace.

You can view details of all the companies who have reported their gender pay gap information on GOV.UK.