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Home Article Positive news on HE gender pay gap, but no gap is acceptable

Positive news on HE gender pay gap, but no gap is acceptable

Published: 21/09/2016

New JNCHES report into the HE gender pay gap shows welcome progress - but we can't stop there.

UCEA (the Universities and Colleges Employers Association) and unions EIS, GMB, UCEA and UNISON have released a review of gender pay gaps in higher education. Produced as part of the New JNCHES pay negotiation agreement, ECU also took part in developing the report.

The New JNCHES Higher education gender pay gap data report highlights that there has been good progress in reducing the gender pay gap in higher education, and that the HE sector now has one of the smallest gender pay gaps.

Ellen Pugh, Senior Policy Adviser for ECU welcomed the findings:

‘The progress made by the sector has been very positive – in a large part due to the work of JNCHES and UCEA – however this doesn’t mean we can be complacent in our work to tackle the causes of the gender pay gap. The report underlines that there is a sector-wide consensus that the pay gap is unacceptable.’

‘Work still needs to be done to reduce occupational segregation and pay inequality and will require concerted action if we are to close the gender pay gap. The University of Essex has recently taken a lead by raising the average pay of women professors to match that of their male colleagues, and LSE has recently announced similar measures to help reduce pay inequality and in turn their gender pay gap. We also need to understand more about pay gaps for part-time senior staff – an area that this report was unable to cover due to a lack of reliable data.’

The need for continued action to reduce the gender pay gap is a government priority in all four countries of the UK. Government’s are working to strengthen pay gap reporting under the public sector equality duty and new regulations will shortly come into force in both England and Scotland requiring higher education institutions to publish more information on pay. ECU will keep you updated with what the changes mean for your institution.

ECU publishes an annual statistics report on staff which includes a range of pay information, including salaries, ethnicity and disability pay gaps, and pay gaps by region: HE statistics reports. The 2016 report will be published at the end of November.