Lancs students are raising awareness on Lancs Uni’s 26.5 per cent gender pay gap
They’re fighting it with an Instagram account
Two Lancs students are raising awareness of the 26.5 per cent gender pay gap at Lancaster University through an online campaign
The #LUGenderPayGap campaign is an Instagram-led campaign by two anonymous sociology students as part of their course
The Lancaster Tab exclusively interviewed the girls about their campaign, the issue with the Gender pay gap at Lancaster University and how the issue is universal.
What is the LUGenderPayGap Campaign?
The #LUGenderPayGap campaign (@lugenderpaygap) seeks to raise awareness of the gender pay gap at Lancaster University.
As two students from the university, both involved in the Sociology department Athena Swan action group, we were alarmed to discover that Lancaster University has such an appallingly large gender pay gap, and even more alarmed by the fact that very few individuals were aware of it.
As part of one of our final year Sociology modules, we were asked to produce a feminist manifesto/campaign that addressed an issue of feminist concern, we felt that this would be the perfect opportunity to raise awareness of the profound gender pay gap at Lancaster University.
What are the aims of your campaign?
The campaign focuses on three main areas: awareness, transparency and accessibility. It is important to note that through these means of campaigning we are not bringing any new information to light, we are simply pushing forward the information that can be accessed via the university website.
How do you feel about the Gender Pay Gap?
The gender pay gap is an exceedingly complex issue and is rooted in heavily ingrained structural inequalities. This is why our campaign has focused on raising awareness, rather than providing comprehensive solutions to the problems, we believe that this is the university’s responsibility.
Though we acknowledge that the issues have been recognised to some extent through developments within Athena Swan action groups, there is still so much more that the university must do in order to reduce the unacceptable size of the gender pay gap.
How do you feel the issue could be improved?
Although the university has published their gender pay gap statistics, as per the changing legal requirements as of 2018 (GOV.uk, 2019), we believe that more should be done to highlight these statistics.
Our second aim, transparency, links closely to raising awareness. As mentioned above, although the university has published their gender pay gap statistics, they have a responsibility to be more open about the severity of the gap. We believe with greater transparency, we will have greater chance of reducing the gender pay gap at all levels of the university.
How do you feel about the university being so prevalent on social media about the gender pay gap and yet doing nothing to remedy it?
Whilst the gender pay gap is an incredibly complex issue, the university’s report is written using inaccessible language and statistics are often complexly displayed. We purposely selected specific statistics to front our campaign as we wanted to provide short and powerful facts that all individuals could understand.
We believe that this is something that the university should be doing, and we are highlighting this through our campaign. As well as providing statistics, we have featured several links on our Instagram account that lead to accessible webpages and videos explaining the gender pay gap.
Is there a lack of awareness around this issues and issues like it?
Yes, and in order to combat the first aim of our campaign is to raise awareness; in order to do this, we have placed informative stickers and posters around campus and created an Instagram account dedicated to sharing images of the various locations that the stickers and posters can be found and providing links to accessible resources on the gender pay gap.
The pay gap at Lancaster University is a serious issue, but with this campaign hopefully more awareness will be drawn to this social issue based on their internet-led campaign.