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Thursday 03 September 2020

‘You're still more likely to see a man in an SCS role’

Equality Officer Victoria Jones highlights significant diversity figures from the recently-published civil service statistics.

SergeyH / Shutterstock.com

If you haven’t yet dived in to the civil service statistics, I’m not quite sure what you’ve been doing with your days. Publication day is always an interesting one in the FDA office (or home office…), where we can plot successes and identify positive trends, but also see where more work needs to be done. The 2020 edition was no different – there is certainly still work to be done. 

This publication included some helpful data on the gender pay gap, something which our local reps and National Officers are working on locally. The overarching gender pay gap creeps down slowly from a median average of 11.1% in 2019, to 10.3% as at March 2020. Still not good enough, and there are outliers too. 

The Department for Transport saw an increase in 1.4%, the Department for International Trade’s gender pay gap went up by 1% and MHCLG grew by 0.8%. We’ll be looking into the data locally to see why that is and pressure employers to adopt meaningful action plans that deliver tangible improvements. HMRC was an outlier the other way - they saw a great reduction of 2.4%. The pay gap is still 4.8%, but this is good news – ARC (the Association of Revenue and Customs, the FDA’s section representing HMRC) will be looking at ways to take this further. 

The data also shows that there is still a divide when it comes to representation of women at the more senior grades. Women outnumber men below G6/7, but that flips when you reach the higher grades. Overall, the trends are going in the right direction, but you're still more likely to see a man in an SCS role. 

In other areas, you’ll see that the number of disabled civil servants is on the up, continuing a positive trend. 12.8% of civil servants identify as disabled, but that's still below the average across the economically active population. We're also seeing positive movement when it comes to BAME representation in the civil service, which is trending up. But the SCS remains the worst area; BAME staff make up just 9.1% of the most senior roles. No data was published around the ethnicity pay gap, despite work being undertaken in this area. 

There is also some interesting data on flexible working, particularly around the proportion of women who work flexibly. We’ll be considering that information against our flexible working research, to understand what barriers remain for members developing their careers while working flexibly. 

We’ll take some time to get in to the details of the data, as we continue to shape our equality work. The FDA’s recently elected Executive Committee met for the first time last month, and we have a new cohort of members for our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee. Over the next few weeks and months, we’ll be pulling together our strategy for 2020-22. Having data like this will help us identify priorities, but we’re also keen to hear from you. 

If you have any suggestions for priorities you’d like the EDIC to consider including in our strategy, please email equalitymatters@fda.org.uk.

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General Secretary Dave Penman has said ministers’ “obsession with ending flexible working and micro-managing the civil service increasingly just looks vindictive”, after Jacob Rees-Mogg called for an end to civil servants working from home.
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