Lack of women at senior levels a major factor
UK universities had a 12 per cent gender pay gap among academic staff in 2015/16, according to a new report from the University and College Union.
The research shows that as salaries increase at the higher levels of academia, the number of women decreases. This is a key driving factor in overall pay inequality. While the situation is improving — in 2014/15 the gap was 12.3 per cent and in 2013/14 it was 12.6 per cent — change is extremely slow. At the current rate, it will take 40 years to achieve pay equality.
‘The fact that women are under-represented in the higher management grades and the professoriate is contributing to the overall 12 per cent gender pay gap for academic staff,’ commented UCU general secretary Sally Hunt.
“Universities need to analyse their gender pay gaps by carrying out equal pay audits. We are now submitting local equal pay audits at universities and want institutions to analyse and address their gender pay gaps.”
While women outnumber men on the early rungs of the academic career ladder, at senior levels the picture is very different. At professor level, less than a quarter of staff are women.
Nationally, the gender pay gap is at 18 per cent.