The OfS was established by the Higher Education and Research Act 2017 and set up with a skeleton staff on 1 January 2018. When the Higher Education Funding Council (HEFCE) and the Office for Fair Access (OFFA) closed on 31 March 2018, many of their employees transferred to the OfS.
The OfS monitored its gender pay data during the transition period between the closure of HEFCE and OFFA (March 2018) and the gaining of its full powers as a regulator (1 August 2019). This data helped to identify any gender pay issues in the new organisation.
The March 2019 gender pay gap was mainly due to the distribution of men and women across the organisation and the effects of public sector pay and promotion policies.
In March 2019, the OfS, like many other public sector bodies, had a predominantly female workforce, with women making up just under two-thirds (65.1 per cent) of employees.
Women were distributed fairly evenly through the four pay quartiles:
- 45 per cent were in the top two pay quartiles (of which 21.5 per cent were in the top quartile)
- 55 per cent were in the bottom two pay quartiles.
Of the men employed in the organisation:
- 59.8 per cent were in the top two quartiles (of which 32.1 per cent were in the top quartile)
- 40.2 per cent were in the bottom two quartiles.
In terms of absolute numbers, the top quartile had:
The OfS directors’ group had a fairly even distribution of men (4) and women (3), including a female chief executive.