20th Sep, 2018

University of Warwick has second highest gender pay gap of all England's Russell Group universities

Felix Nobes 5th Apr, 2018 Updated: 10th Apr, 2018

THE UNIVERSITY of Warwick has the second highest gender pay gap of all England’s top ‘Russell Group’ universities.

There is a 23 per cent difference between the hourly pay of men and women at the university.

The university’s management accepted the situation needs to improve, as it released its salary data.

The Equality Act in 2010 forced all companies with more than 250 employees to reveal the average difference between male and female employees by midnight yesterday.

Professor Christine Ennew, Warwick University provost, said it will react by “raising aspirations and creating opportunities for women”.

The University of Warwick disclosed a median gender pay gap of 23.4 per cent which means for every £1 of hourly pay earned by a man, a woman effectively makes 77p.

This is higher than the national average of 18.4 per cent.

The median pay gap is the difference between the midpoint hourly pay rate of men and women.

This is the primary method to calculate the gender pay gap.

However, there is also a 26.5 per cent difference between the average (mean) hourly pay of men and women at the university.

This is significantly higher than the UK average of 17.4 per cent.

The pay gap is calculated using figures compiled nationally since March 31 last year.

The highest median gender pay gap for Russell Group universities is Durham with 29.3 per cent compared to the lowest – University College London – with 8.9 per cent.

University of Warwick representatives have explained the significant pay gaps by attributing them to the number of women in lower paid roles compared to men in higher paid roles.

A university spokesperson said: “Unlike some institutions, our decision not to outsource retail, accommodation, cleaning and support services means we have a significant number of staff in roles in the lower quartile, and the majority of these are women.”

In lowest paid roles, around two thirds of employees are women compared to male employees making up around a third.

This is a stark contrast to the highest paid roles of which only 34 per cent are occupied by women compared to men who occupy 66 per cent.

The university also recorded a 58.4 per cent mean gap in the average bonus payment for men and women – with the median difference 36.3 per cent.

But the university does point out more women receive bonuses than men and higher earning roles (usually occupied by men) are awarded greater bonuses which have skewed figures.

Another significant problem for Warwick, like many universities, is under-representation for females among academic staff.

The university’s report shows around one fifth of professors are women – while the problem also exists in professional roles overall.

Prof Ennew added: “The problem that faces the University of Warwick – and indeed many other organisations – is not so much a failure to pay equally to staff at the same level, but rather a skew in the gender distribution across levels, with more women in lower paid occupations and more men in higher paid occupations.

“And until this changes, we can continue to pay equally for staff at the same level, but a gender pay gap will persist.”

Coventry University displayed a much better record in the last year with a 13.7 per cent median hourly pay gap.

However, the university still acknowledges the division is a problem to be addressed.

A spokesperson said: “Our first step is to ensure we’re open and transparent about where we are today.

“This gender pay gap review is giving us an opportunity to understand the disparity in pay that we have – and the factors contributing to it – and we recognise that we need to improve and close the gap.”

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