The government has revealed the gender pay gap in the Civil Service, noting that it compares favourably to both the public sector as a whole and the private sector.
While the average gender pay gap in the Civil Service is 12.7%, the pay gap in the public sector as a whole is now 19.4%, and 23.7% in the private sector. The overall Civil Service gender pay gap has narrowed over the past year, from 13.6% in 2016.
The biggest gap was found to be at the Department for Transport, at 16.9%. The best place for gender pay equality was the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with just a 3% difference.
The gender pay gap breakdown within Whitehall was found to be:
- Department for Transport: 16.9%
- Department for Exiting the EU: 15.26%
- Department of Health: 14.2%
- Ministry of Defence: 12.5% (for civil servants)
- Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy: 12%
- Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: 11.5%
- Foreign and Commonwealth Office: 10.6%
- Home Office: 10.1%
- Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport: 3%
Jeremy Heywood, cabinet secretary and head of the Civil Service, said there was further action required to lower the pay gaps. “As today’s gender pay publications show, there is much more to do,” he said. “The Civil Service Diversity and Inclusion Strategy has set out further clear actions to achieve representative diversity. We must all embrace the strategy and think about what we can do to make the Civil Service a truly great place to work for everyone.”
However, the FDA union, which represents senior civil servants, told the BBC that it was wrong that women were still being "discriminated against and undervalued".
"While the Civil Service should be applauded for shining a light on its gender pay gap with this latest data, departments have a long way to go if they are serious about closing it," said the union's equality officer Zohra Francis.
Sam Smethers, chief executive of women’s rights campaign group the Fawcett Society, said that she hoped to see continued progress. “What matters now is each department’s plan to close the gap,” she told The Metro. "They have to commit to real progress over the coming years and that means making some radical changes.”
All government departments are now required to publish an annual gender pay audit under the new gender pay gap reporting regulations. Public bodies and businesses with 250 or more staff are required to publish their gender pay gap details by April 2018.