DfE gender pay gap closing – but men get bigger bonuses

Bonuses paid to men working at the Department for Education were on average 3.8 per cent larger than those paid to women last year.

Although the overall gender pay gap at the department continues to decrease, new figures show that in 2019, men received larger bonuses than women for the first time since records began.

The bonus gap was previously 2 per cent in favour of women in 2018, and there was no gap at all in 2017, the first year public bodies had to report on gender pay.

The median gender pay gap at the department has gone from 5.9 per cent in favour of men in 2017 to 5.3 per cent in 2019.

The latest figures also show that the proportion of highest-paid employees who are women has fallen, from 53 per cent in 2017 and 2018 to 50 per cent in 2019.

This is despite women making up 53.4 per cent of the department’s workforce, down from 57 per cent in 2018.

The DfE said it had undertaken “a number of activities to focus on closing the gender pay gap” and continues to “review and refresh all activites on an annual basis”.

Ofsted has also revealed it no longer has a median gender pay gap. The gap was previously 19.8 per cent in favour of men in 2018 and 2.3 per cent in 2017.

The bonus gap at Ofsted also fell from 25 per cent in 2018 to 7.7 per cent in 2019.

Nerd note: Although organisations report on both their mean and median pay gap, we report on the median as this is less likely to be distorted by outliers.

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  1. The gender gap is a measure is a meaningless stick with which to bash organisations with. What is important (and is backed up by the law) is that people doing comparable jobs are paid equally. The gender pay gap doesn’t consider comparable work but any work.

    • Mark Watson

      Completely agree. And the damaging outcome is that organisations like the DfE are now, in their own words, “focusing on closing the gender pay gap” which is an arbitrary calculation, rather than focusing on (a) improved performance, and (b) true gender equality.