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DCMS has said it will take action to address gender pay gap after report finds the difference between the middle earning man and middle earning woman in the department rose to 9.3%.


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Efforts will be made to coach and mentor "high potential" women working at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to address an increase in the gender pay gap, it has been announced.

Figures published by DCMS show that although the average difference in pay between men and women at the department fell slightly between March 2021 and March 2022, the median pay gap, often considered a more reliable measure for data sets, has risen.

While the average gender pay gap dropped from 5.1% in 2021 to 3.3% in 2022, the median pay gap, the difference between the middle earning man and middle earning woman in the department rose to 9.3% this year, having been 0% last year.


The median figure is often considered more reflective of gender pay differences. If the mean, or average, is used outlying salary figures - for the lowest paid, or those on the very highest salaries in the department - risk skewing the result.

At DCMS the highest earning civil servant is Permanent Secretary Sarah Healey who earns up to £170,000 a year. Meanwhile four of the five Director Generals at DCMS, who earn anywhere between £130,000 and £140,000 a year each, are women. These salaries have a significant impact on the average gender pay gap, but little effect on the median. 

A DCMS report on the gender pay gap, which has been published on an annual basis since 2017, said the widening median gender pay gap is down to growth in the department’s workforce. 

The largest increase was observed at three levels, Grade C - higher executive officers earning in the region of £36,000 a year, Grade B - senior executive officers earning around £45,000 a year and Grade A - experienced officials with significant policy responsibilities earning in the region of £70,000 a year.

"There were more females than males recruited into Grade C and B roles whilst more males than females were recruited into [higher paid] Grade A roles," the report states.

It adds that there was also an increase in the promotion of women to Grade B and from Grade A to the higher Grade AU.

"[This] means the middle [earning] female is now positioned in Band B, this is a change from the previous year where the middle earning female was in Band A," the reports states.

The increase in the median gender pay gap reverses a trend of decline in recent years. In 2019 it stood at 16.6%, falling to 10.6% in 2020 and 0% in 2021.

Arts Professional's ArtsPay survey, conducted earlier this year, found that across the sector in general, pay inequality between men and women is decreasing -  with a gender pay gap of 3.5%, down from 10.6% in the 2018 survey.


DCMS has said its Diversity & Inclusion Strategy, which launched in 2020, already contains a range of actions to promote inclusion and gender balance and drive change, but it will take a number of further actions to address the issue.

"We are developing an executive coaching package for high potential AU [grade] staff from underrepresented groups to receive more focussed support and guidance enabling progression to [senior civil service grade] and ensuring a diverse talent pipeline."

Meanwhile, underrepresented women will be given access to the Crossing Thresholds 12-month career mentoring programme, supporting them with career development and progression.

The report adds that  the department will make better use of its internship schemes and further promote DCMS at universities through career fairs to attract more men into entry-level (Grade C) roles

The report states that DCMS is "committed to reducing the gender pay gap". 

"This is key to delivering on our Diversity and Inclusion strategy and meeting our ambition to be the most inclusive government department by 2025. Our approach to pay and bonuses seeks to reward all staff fairly, regardless of gender," it states.