Gender pay gap persists at Oxford University, new report says

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Oxford University has today published a report on the institution’s gender pay gap, reporting a 24.5% mean gender pay gap which is higher than the national average.

Other figures released show a 13.7% median gender pay gap (lower than the national average) and a mean bonus pay gap of 79%. A higher proportion of women receive bonus payments than men.

The report states that the University has been taking actions to reduce its gender pay gap including revising procedures for the salary reviews of some groups of senior staff and analysing further the pay gaps found at senior levels.

The University has committed to several targets to improve gender equality across the university including attaining a yearly rise in the percentage of female Professors employed with the aim of 30% representation by 2020. The University has also committed to reaching a minimum of 30% of female members of Council and each of its main committees.

In the report’s introduction, the Vice-Chancellor, Louise Richardson, says: “The lack of women occupying senior roles in universities remains a challenge to the Higher Education sector. Oxford, while an exceptional institution, is no exception when it comes to gender equality. We continue to work, however, with enthusiasm, energy and determination to address the considerable imbalance.”

The University currently employs over 250 workers and is therefore legally required to report its gender pay gap. The figures that must be reported are median and mean gross hourly pay gap, media and mean bonus pay gaps, percentage of female and percentage of male relevant employees who received bonus pay and percentage of female and percentage of male relevant employees in each pay quartile. Employers required to publish this data, based on the ‘snapshot date’ of 31 March 2017, must publish the information by 30 March 2018.

Several colleges have also published data on their gender pay gaps. New College has reported a median pay gap of 24.3% and a mean pay gap of 12.6%. At Balliol, a median pay gap of 15.3% exists and a mean pay gap of 16.2%. Keble has a relatively low median pay gap of 11.9% but a mean pay gap of 18.5%.

Katy Haigh, Oxford SU’s VP Women, told the Oxford Student: “I am pleased to see that the University’s report dedicates a large section to the actions they are taking (or intend to take) to combat what they believe to be the root cause of the gender pay gap: from my time as part of the Gender Equality Advisory Group which oversees, among other things, the university’s applications to Athena Swan, I feel confident that the University has some good initiatives to support the career development of women in this institution.

“However, the data in the report relates only to University staff and does not account for the gender pay circumstances in Colleges. Some of our Colleges have already published their data, and once more colleges follow suit, it will be interesting to see what the state of the pay gap across this institution is. We must hold Colleges accountable to providing not only this data, but their own plans to improve the state of the pay gap.”

Other universities have also recently published data on their gender pay gaps. Cambridge has reported a gender pay gap of 15% in median hourly pay. Royal Holloway has a particularly high gender pay gap, reporting a median average of 33.8%.

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