Spend Network is pleased to release our survey on the gender pay gap data in public procurement. We linked gender pay gap reports from over 2,600 organisations across nearly 31,000 contracts won by these organisations during the 2017-2020 period. This gave us insight into what organisations public money is going to, what gender pay bias exists in those organisations, and the extent of this phenomenon across all public contracting.
Read our report in detail here
Our Top Findings
Our research clearly shows that there is a significant bias towards men both in the delivery of public services and that this bias increases once public services are outsourced to the private sector.
92.57% of the money government spent with suppliers between 2017 and 2020 went to companies with a pay bias in favour of men. Organisations with a ‘low’ bias across genders, that is to say between 1% and 10%, make up only 34.15% of contracting.
Gender bias in pay is overwhelmingly skewed towards men. 67.65% of the contract value goes to firms that pay men 10% more than women. Whilst over 45% of contracts by value go to organisations with a pay bias greater than 20%. Meanwhile suppliers with a female bias of 10% or more accounts for less than 1% (0.96%) of the value of contracts being let.
When compared with the national average for all reporting organisations (11.47%) we found that across all suppliers to the public sector there is a larger pay bias towards men (12.61%) than average. By contrast, public sector organisations do considerably better with an average median pay gap of 9.85%.
The pay ‘gap’ is calculated as the difference between average hourly earnings (excluding overtime) of men and women as a proportion of men’s average hourly earnings (excluding overtime).
Our research is currently limited to the £292bn ($404bn) spent by the UK public sector every year. However, this work should stand as an exemplar of what can be achieved when reliable open data on procurement and companies is published by governments. We would encourage any governments that would like to achieve more with their procurement data to get in touch.
If you'd like to talk to us in more detail about this or any of our other research reports, or our procurement data capabilities,contact us.