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Lancaster University reveals a big disparity between male and female employees’ earnings.
The gender pay gap is the percentage difference between average hourly earnings for men and women across a workforce.
In 2013 the Coalition government introduced gender pay gap regulations requiring all employers with more than 250 staff to report the difference between their male and female employees’ average earnings.
Wednesday 4 April saw the deadline for companies reporting their pay gaps.
Lancaster University’s Gender Pay Gap Report found that the mean gender pay gap for the university is 27.7% (female lower than male) and the median gender pay gap is 26.5%.
When comparing mean hourly rates, women earn 72p for every £1 that men earn and comparing median hourly rates, women earn 74p for every £1 that men make.
Across the Higher Education sector and Pre-92 universities the mean gender pay gap was 17.8% gender pay gap (HE sector) and 19.2% (Pre-92) and the median pay gap was 13.7% (HE sector) and 16.2% (Pre-92) in 2016-17.
The University’s performance in the government’s nationwide gender pay gap is shocking and significantly worse than average. One lecturer tweeted: “this is a total disgrace”.
Professor Gail Whiteman, Director of the Pentland Centre for Sustainability in Business in the Management School says that Lancaster University’s gender pay gap is “far behind peers: Unacceptable in a top 10 university”, tweeting #everydaysexism.
The University’s gender pay gap is far higher than the average median gender pay gap of the education sector which stands at 20%. Analysis of the data by Times Higher Education shows that Lancaster University’s gender pay gap data is greater than that of many other UK Universities.
The largest pay gap was found at London Business School, where women’s mean hourly salary was 45% lower than men’s.
The second largest gap, a mean average of 30%, was found at the Royal Veterinary College, while Lancaster University and Harper Adams University share third place on 27.7%.
Out of the universities in the top 10 of all three UK league tables, Lancaster has the largest gender pay gap.
Noticeably, the University employs a higher proportion of men than women in highest-paid roles, more than double in fact, with 30.5% women and 69.5% men. Meanwhile, the bottom pay bracket shows an almost identical reversal to the highest-paid roles, where 69.7% of staff are women and 30.3% are men. Likewise, out of 295 Professors, only 67 are female, less than 25%.
To reduce the gender pay gap and disparities across different roles within the university, Lancaster pledges to target recruitment to attract greater diversity, develop actions plans which aim for a 50-50 distribution of female/male staff and to improve and promote flexible working practices for staff with caring responsibilities.
Nevertheless, these figures come as an embarrassment after the University has been disrupted by the strikes, making pensions more volatile and less rewarding.
Lancaster University boasts how “our staff and students love being here”, but the gender pay gap coupled with the strikes tell a very different story for staff.
The university has been approached for comment and have yet to respond.