Parliament’s digital team just revealed its gender pay gap – and the results may surprise you

Parliamentary Digital Service chief Tracey Jessup says she is “delighted” with new figures on pay by gender

Photo: Flickr, Phil Dolby

The Parliamentary Digital Service can boast a trend-bucking gender pay gap, new figures show, with women in the organisation earning slightly more than their male counterparts.

Women have long been seen as being at a distinct pay disadvantage in the technology industry where, according to research firm Mercer, men earn 25% more than women – well above the overall UK gap of 18%.

Senior roles also tend to be dominated by men, that research shows, with women filling just 13% of executive-level jobs in the tech sector.


But new data released by the PDS – which runs websites and provides digital support for the House of Commons and the House of Lords – shows the team’s mean pay gap is -5.21%, while its median pay gap is -4.16%.

That means that women in the PDS in fact have an average pay lead over men on both measures.

The PDS said the findings were “a direct result of the number of women holding more senior positions within the organisation”.

While just over two-thirds (65.43%) of the PDS workforce are men, there is an exact 50/50 split between male and female staff at the organisation’s most senior level.

Launching the pay gap report – publication of which is now a legal obligation for organisations with 250 or more employees, PDS director Tracey Jessup said she was “delighted that this first set of gender pay data is so encouraging for women” and “proud to lead an organisation which is committed to ensuring equality and diversity in staff, including gender equality”.

Jessup added: “We want to continue to build a supportive and inclusive workplace where our staff are able to work flexibly supported by tangible policies to help them, such as shared parental leave. We are also mindful that gender pay inequality is only part of the picture and must be tackled alongside other factors which have an impact on equality of opportunity in the workplace.”

In her introduction to the PDS report, Jessup said there was still “far more to be done” to improve gender equality in the organisation, pointing to the more complex picture on bonus payments. 

The report shows that, while a higher percentage of women than men receive bonus payments, the average bonus award is still 42.65% higher for men on average.

Jessup also vowed to do more to address the under-representation of women in the more junior ranks of the Parliamentary Digital Service, with the new figures showing that women make up just 27% of staff in the lower pay quartile of the organisation and just 38% in the second-lowest pay quartile.


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