Rider was appointed director general of people and leadership in May 2006. She heads up civil service HR and is tasked with increasing professionalism across the function.
Her salary had a full-year equivalent value of £175,000 – still considerably less than the £235,000 earned by her boss, cabinet secretary Sir Gus O’Donnell.
She joined the Cabinet Office’s corporate development group after 27 years in the private sector with consultancy Accenture. Her appointment was met by some raised eyebrows across Whitehall, as it was the first time the role had been taken by someone who had not been a career civil servant.
The appointment was also recently used as an example of the problems with external senior appointments by the Public Administration Committee.
A report by the committee stated: “Senior posts ought to be too important to allow someone much time to find their feet. When we saw Gill Rider, she told us: ‘I have only been here five months – so very new, and still in my learning curve’. It is not unreasonable to have a long learning curve, but it must be preferable for this learning curve to be negotiated without too much responsibility for important matters of state.”
Earlier this month, the Civil Service commissioner revealed that external appointees to Whitehall jobs were commanding up to double the salaries of those promoted from within.