HESA 2022/23 report exposes gender and racial pay gaps at Durham University

The highest salary band reportedly includes no black staff members


An analysis of the Higher Education Statistics Agency’s (HESA) 2022/23 report has revealed that white, male full-time members of academic staff at Durham University earn more than women and ethnic minorities.

The report showed that the staff body is 58 per cent male and, of them, 64 per cent earn over £48,841. This is the second highest salary band. In contrast, 52 per cent of female academic staff earn over £48,841.

It also revealed that there is a gendered disparity in the earners of the highest salary band. While 32 per cent of all male staff are paid more than £65,575, only 18 per cent of female staff have reached this salary.

Full-time academic male staff are, therefore, both disproportionately represented in the staff body and more likely to be amongst the highest paid academic staff at the university.

The HESA report also explores pay disparities in a racial context. A white academic staff member is one of the 77 per cent of full-time academic staff with 62 per cent of them earning over £48,841. However, for ethnic minorities, only 12 per cent of them earn over £48,841, and furthermore, no black staff members belonging to the highest salary band were recorded.

It is notable that there may be some inaccuracies in the data provided by HESA. This is because a number of staff members chose “unknown” for their ethnic background and HESA rounds all figures to the nearest five.

In a comment obtained by Palatinate, a Durham University spokesperson said: “At Durham, we are building an equitable and inclusive community where everyone can thrive. Building on earlier contributions by dedicated staff and students, we have now laid firm foundations for our work and we do recognise that we are not yet where we would like to be.

“In 2022, we received the Bronze Race Equality Charter (REC) Award in recognition of our desire and ongoing work to address racial disparities, as part of our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion. At Durham, the REC framework has helped us identify, reflect upon and address institutional and cultural barriers that stand in the way of our racially minoritised staff and students. As part of our action plan, we have a specific objective around accelerating and improving support for BAME staff career progression (academic and professional services staff).

“The action plan links with other shared institutional agendas such as our global strategy, widening participation, diversifying the curriculum, tackling racism, and promoting a culture of respect both within and beyond the boundaries of our institution.”

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