DWP in-house IT company narrows gender pay gap as number of female senior managers shoots up

Mean salary disparity drops to 5.5%

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The Department for Work and Pensions’ in-house IT company has narrowed its gender pay gap in the last year and posted a big spike in the proportion of senior roles filled by women.

In a newly published report, BPDTS Ltd reveals that, as of 31 March 2019, its female employees earned a mean of 5.5% less than their male counterparts. This represents a drop of 2.6 percentage points since the publication of its last such report a year ago, which showed a gap of 8.1%.

When calculated on a median basis, the gap has narrowed to just 0.2% – down from 1.7% a year ago.

The report claims that the unit’s pay gap is “is significantly smaller in comparison with many other digital and technology companies”.

According to its most recent annual accounts, BPDTS Ltd employed 817 people as of 31 March 2019 – a figure which the company expected to grow to more than 1,100 over the course of the 2020 fiscal year.

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The gender pay gap report reveals that 18% of its employees are women. This represents a very slight increase on the prior-year figure of 17.5%.

While the proportion of women in the bottom quartile of lowest-paid jobs has remained fairly steady, moving from 18.4% to 18.9%, the amount of women in the most senior posts has grown hugely in the last 12 months. 

Last year’s report showed that just 10.1% of employees in the upper quartile of highest-paid positions were women. This figure has now risen to 24.2%.

In the year ending 31 March 2019, a higher proportion of male employees of BPDTS received a bonus than their female counterparts: 46.2% and 41.7%, respectively.

But the mean bonus pay amount awarded to women was 3.7% higher than that given to men. The median gap was 5.5% in favour of women.

The pay gap report said: “Unlike the majority of the public sector, we don’t operate within a grade structure. For our external recruitment, we use market-based intelligence to set salaries based on the wider labour market rates paid in the digital technology sector. As a public sector organisation, we’re governed by HM Treasury’s pay remit. This means we’re subject to current public sector pay policy and pay restrictions.”

BPDTS was founded in 2016 to take responsibility for the delivery of a number of IT services that the DWP previously outsourced to IT giant HPE.

The government company, which was last year classified as a non-departmental public body, has taken on new responsibilities since its creation and now annually delivers in excess of £50m of tech services to the department – which is, in effect, both its owner and its sole customer.


Sam Trendall

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