Equal Pay Review Reveals Gender Pay Gap Within University

New findings expose worrying statistics about the university’s gender pay gap.

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The Equal Pay Review 2012 has shown that women in the university earn on average a fifth less than their male colleagues.

Critics have slammed the findings, which show that female staff earn an average of £8,675 less than their male counterparts.

Furthermore, figures illustrate that the pay gap is more pronounced higher up the pay scale. 958 women receive a wage which is grade eight or higher, in comparison to 1,870 men in the same bracket.

In the top wage bracket – grade 12 – only 101 of the 611 employees are women. Thus, whilst 11.3% of male university staff falls into this category, only 2.3% of women earn at the highest level. The gap between the top male and female earners at the university has risen from 9% to 18.7% in the past year.

The first Equal Pay Review was carried out in 2010. Since then, the university has implemented a number of schemes to try and achieve a ‘fair and equitable’ payment system. One such method is a CV mentoring scheme, which aims to help women seeking promotion to Senior Academic positions. Similarly, there now exists guidance for institutions to encourage an increase in the number of women employed.

Despite this, there still seems to be a discrepancy between the salaries of male and female employees at the university. The average salary of a male employee at Cambridge is £39,698, whilst the equivalent for females lies at £31,023 – a difference of 21.9%. The review’s findings show, however, that this pay gap has reduced by around 0.5% each year from a high of 24% in 2007.

The discrepancies found in the report have been attributed to ‘additional payments’ which more male academics receive as part of their research work.

Susy, the CUSU Women’s Officer, has said of the findings: “Whilst Cambridge University has seen a drop in the pay gap from the 24% of 2007/8 to this academic year, when it lies at 21.9%, it is worrying that female students are still being educated in an environment where female staff are undervalued and disadvantaged.

This has knock on effects for female students’ academic confidence and so must continue to decline if female staff and students are to feel as valued and respected as their male counterparts.”