QUB’s female professors earn up to 15% less than male colleagues

The university’s gender pay gap is the highest among the Russell Group

QUB has been criticised for failing to close the gender pay gap between male and female professors at the institution.

Figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) reveal that between 2015-16, female professors at Queen’s earned an average of £69,910 compared to £81,708 for male professors, a gap of £11,798.

The University and Colleges Union (UCU) warned of a “shocking and profoundly worrying” gender pay gap among professors at Queen’s in 2014, which then stood at £11,256.

In light of the damning report, Queen’s is holding two meetings with senior staff on 8 May and 11 May to put forward proposals to tackle the problem. Some of these include changes to pay scales and mentoring for female professors.

However, the University and Colleges Union (UCU) is not convinced these measures are enough, claiming they will only reduce the pay gap by 2.5%. In a letter to professors, the UCU said it “does not accept that these proposals will satisfactorily close the gender pay gap.”

“Nor does it believe that this offer attends the clearly articulated concerns of the female professors, in respect of the long-term pay inequality they have suffered,” the union said.

Queen’s have released a statement in response, saying it is “one of the leading institutions in the UK for tackling the unequal representation of women in higher education. Queen’s recognises that there is more work to be done to promote gender equality, including the gender pay gap, and is taking positive steps to address these issues. The University has carried out a Professorial Gender Pay Gap review and is developing a holistic action plan to address the gap.”

According to data collected by HESA for 2015-16 on 1555 full-time academic staff at Queen’s, women were paid £44,119 on average while men were paid £50,822 – a difference of £6,703.

Interestingly, the gender pay gap among professors was smaller at Ulster University, where between 2015-16, female professors earned an average of £68,924, compared to £72,241 for their male counterparts.

HESA data for 2015-16 on 1025 full-time academic staff at Ulster University shows women were paid £47,542 on average while men were paid £50,290 – a difference of £2,748.