Gender pay gap at universities revealed
Over the past year, universities have been publishing their gender pays gaps, and the final results are in… where does your university rank?
For the first time in history, all universities in the UK have been legally required to record their gender pay gaps – and the results make for interesting reading.
Data shows that all but three universities pay men more than women, and the majority of universities recorded gender pay gaps in the double figures, with some reaching as high as 37.4%.
The data was published as part of a wider government initiative, stating that all companies with over 250 employees must record their gender pay gaps.
Universities have had a year to report the figures, since the government announced the move last April, but many left it until the final weeks and days before the midnight deadline on 4th April 2018.
We've pulled together the data from all UK universities which reported, so you can search the gender pay gap at your institution.
What's the gender pay gap at your university?
The results show that York St John University and Harper Adams University have come out worst, each having a gender pay gap of 37.4%.
Other unis to feature in the top 10 worst offenders list include the University of East Anglia, the Royal Veterinary College and the University of Hull, with pay gaps ranging from 27.8% – 34%.
The only Russell Group university to appear in this top 10 is Durham University, with a pay gap of 29.3%, while University College London was the Russell Group with the smallest gender pay gap at 8.9%.
Based on these reports, the average gender pay gap across all universities stands at 18.4%, almost double the national average of 9.7%.
The only universities who pay women more than men are The University of Law and The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, with gender pay gaps of -2.5% and -1.9% respectively.
University gender pay gaps ranked
Use our table to to see what the gender pay gap at your university is, and how it compares to the rest.
|University||Median Hourly Pay Gap (%)||Women in lower quartile pay (%)||Women in top quartile pay (%)|
|York St John University||37.4||69||55|
|Harper Adams University||37.4||82.6||37.9|
|The University of Buckingham||37||55||44|
|Royal Holloway College and Bedford New College||33.8||72||38|
|Royal Veterinary College||31.8||78.4||48.4|
|University Of East Anglia||30.2||68.3||48.1|
|University Of Keele||28||66.1||46.4|
|University of Hull||27.8||72.7||39.8|
|University of Plymouth||27.7||67.6||42.8|
|University of Wolverhampton||26.8||75||48|
|Nottingham Trent University||24.5||66||47|
|Bath Spa University||23.7||71||44|
|Brunel University London||23.6||62.9||37.7|
|University of Warwick||23.4||67||34|
|University of Birmingham||23.3||61.1||37.3|
|University of Portsmouth||23.3||61.3||42|
|London Business School||23.3||67.9||41.5|
|De Montfort University||23||67||42|
|University of Leicester||22.7||64.9||38.6|
|University of Northumbria at Newcastle||22.7||67.3||42.4|
|University of Winchester||22||70.7||46.5|
|Liverpool John Moores University||21.9||61||42|
|University of Bradford||21.1||64.5||43.2|
|The University of Salford||21||62||41|
|St Mary's University, Twickenham||20.9||72||48|
|The University of Reading||20.9||62.2||42.3|
|University of Sunderland||20.9||68||47|
|University of Nottingham||20.7||67.2||37.9|
|Royal Academy of Music||20||60||30|
|University of Stirling||19.3||68.8||48.4|
|Canterbury Christ Church University||19.3||69||51|
|University of Hertfordshire||19||69||51|
|University Of Liverpool||19||71.6||38.2|
|University of Essex||18.6||67.2||38|
|University of Chester||18.5||72||52|
|University Of Gloucestershire||18.5||76.3||42.3|
|Arts University Bournemouth||18.1||70.2||55.4|
|University Of Bath||17.9||54.5||36.5|
|University of York||17.7||63||38|
|University of Greenwich||17.6||59.4||42.1|
|The University Of Chichester||17.4||65.5||41.2|
|University of Southampton||17.4||67.5||38|
|University of Exeter||17.2||66||42|
|Edge Hill University||17||70.4||62.7|
|The University of Brighton||16.3||64.3||46.3|
|Sheffield Hallam University||16.2||69.9||49.7|
|University Of Bristol||16.2||69||41|
|University of Huddersfield||16.2||71.4||41|
|City, University Of London||16.2||57||31|
|Liverpool Hope University||16||64||46|
|University of Leeds||15.8||65.2||38.7|
|University of Sussex||15.3||68||35|
|The University of Northampton||15.3||71.6||50.8|
|University Of Cambridge||15||61.4||36.1|
|Queen Mary University of London||15||64.2||35.7|
|London School Of Economics & Political Science||14.9||56||34|
|The Open University||14.9||69||51|
|King's College London||14.3||66||39|
|University Of Suffolk||14.1||73.4||49.5|
|University of Oxford||13.7||65.1||37.2|
|Southampton Solent University||13.7||54.6||36.3|
|University of Bedfordshire||13.7||68.6||54|
|Oxford Brookes University||13.7||67.4||51.3|
|University of Surrey||13.7||56||44|
|University Of Derby||13.5||67||50|
|The University Of Manchester||13.1||60||39.4|
|St George's, University of London||12.8||69||41.3|
|Bishop Grosseteste University||12.5||73.4||64.2|
|Anglia Ruskin University||11.9||62||51|
|London Metropolitan University||11.5||54||43|
|Leeds Trinity University||11.5||66.2||53.7|
|Norwich University of the Arts||11.4||56.6||39|
|University of Sheffield||11.1||65.1||41.3|
|University of Worcester||11||65.6||64.1|
|University of the West of England||11||67||48|
|University of London||10.9||63||42|
|Buckinghamshire New University||10.8||74||47|
|University of Bolton||10.8||64.7||39.5|
|University Of Kent||9.8||60.3||43.3|
|School Of Oriental And African Studies||9.6||62.1||44.1|
|Imperial College London||9.4||49.1||29.9|
|London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine||9.4||71.8||46.7|
|Birmingham City University||9.2||66||43|
|University College London (UCL)||8.9||64||37|
|University of Central Lancashire||8.4||62.8||48.4|
|Leeds Beckett University||8.4||61.2||41.5|
|University for the Creative Arts||8.4||71||50|
|The University Of Cumbria||8||73.2||58.1|
|Goldsmiths, University of London||7.5||56||48|
|University of the Arts, London||7.1||62.3||51.1|
|The University of Lincoln||7.1||70||38|
|Manchester Metropolitan University||6||62.3||51.7|
|Leeds Arts University||5.7||60.3||52.9|
|London South Bank University||5.4||62||51|
|Birkbeck College, University of London||5.2||55.8||46.9|
|University of East London||5.1||66||47|
|The University Of Westminster||5.1||65.9||48.4|
|Regent's University London||4.8||52.8||44.1|
|University of West London||2.7||59.7||48.6|
|University Of St Mark & St John||0.1||63||61|
|Royal Agricultural University||0||42||33.8|
|The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama||-1.9||67||64.4|
|The University of Law||-2.5||71.4||63.9|
What actually is the gender pay gap?
It's important not to confuse the gender pay gap with equal pay.
Equal pay is paying a man and woman the same amount of money for doing the same job – this has been a legal requirement since 1970.
The gender pay gap is the difference between what men and women earn in an organisation or society as a whole.
A range of different factors contribute to this, including the different types of work men and women do, the seniority of roles, the difference between full-time and part-time work, attitudes to maternity leave and much more.
If you want more information about exactly what the gender pay gap is and what causes it, head on over to our complete gender pay gap guide.
Why does the gender pay gap exist?
Well that's the big question at the heart of this issue.
One reason organisations often give for the gender pay gap is that they employ more men in senior, high-paid positions, while they employ more women in low-paid roles, such as in cleaning or administration.
Every university reported a higher proportion of women in their lower paid quartile of workers, but even those universities with more women than men in their top quartile still had gender pay gaps.
In the case of York St John University, 55% of employees in their top quartile are women, yet they still have the highest gender pay gap.
However, institutions with the smallest gender imbalance in their top tier of staff also tended to have the smallest pay gaps.
The Russell Group universities reported an average gender pay gap of 16.7%, suggesting that research-intensive universities have a particular problem with gender inequality.
However, the amount of women in senior positions is just one contributing factor to the gender pay gap problem.
Discrimination, attitudes towards parental leave and caring responsibilities are a few other reasons cited as contributing to the issue.
Other pay gaps
It's also important to remember that the gender pay gap isn't the only one that exists, and it certainly isn't the worst.
BME and disabled workers also face serious pay gaps, and while recording the gender pay gap is a great initiative, it needs to be extended to include other social groups if we're to achieve true equality in the workplace.
How is it recorded?
The gender pay gap can be recorded in a couple of different ways, which is why you might see variations of official figures. This is because sometimes it's reported as the mean average, and sometimes as the median average. So, what's the difference?
The median is recorded by sorting all female employees from lowest to highest paid, and selecting the employee directly in the middle as the average. The difference between that employee's salary, and the equivalent male's salary, becomes the gender pay gap.
The mean is recorded by adding up the wages of all employees, and then dividing that figure by the number of employees. Again, the difference between the male equivalent becomes the pay gap. This method can skew the results, however, if there is a small group of people in very well or poorly paid positions.
As a result, the median is often considered a more accurate representation of the gender pay gap, and that's why we've used it here.
The numbers given represent a percentage of men's income. So for example, if the average gender pay gap at UK universities is 18.4%, that means women earn 81.6p for every £1 a man earns.
What is being done about it?
Although all universities were legally required to report their gender pay gap data, providing a comment or explaining what they were doing to tackle it was optional.
That said, a number of universities have issued statements addressing the issue.
A spokesperson for York St John University, which has the joint highest gender pay gap out of all universities, defended their figures.
Over a fifth of those included in our figures are paid student ambassadors, who support the university at open days and events to broaden their work experience.
Three quarters of this casual workforce is female (reflecting our wider student body) and that has significantly affected our median gender pay gap. Without this casual workforce of ambassadors our median gap would be 18.6 per cent.
The Vice Chancellor at Harper Adams University, an institution which specialises in agricultural and rural disciplines, also explained why the university has the highest gender pay gap.
The gender pay gap reporting method does not take account of historical issues of gender balance in some employment sectors.
This has clearly impacted on our figures this year, where the role we play in providing employment in our local economy for a wide range of staff, including many in agricultural roles, also needs to be taken into account.
Interestingly, this is not an issue faced by the Royal Agricultural University, which recorded a gender pay gap of 0%.
Durham University fared the worst out of all the Russell Groups, and their Vice Chancellor, Stuart Corbridge, stated the university's commitment to tackling the issue.
We recognise that the gender pay gap is a serious issue for Durham University, as it is for society as a whole and the higher education sector in particular.
We are committed to addressing it through our comprehensive action plan, approved by the University Executive Committee and University Council.
Clearly the government hopes that by making the data public, organisations will be encouraged to take steps to rectify the situation and improve their standing.
Some universities have already stated plans of action, such as the London Business School. LBS is taking measures to increase the number of women in tenure positions and has created a ‘family-friendly task force'.
However, it remains to be seen what direct action will actually be taken in most cases.
How do universities compare to other sectors?
When looking at the full results of the survey, the education sector's median pay gap ranks the third worst out of all industries.
While the university pay gap averages out at 18.4%, the education sector as a whole has a pay gap of 19.5%, which ranks just behind the worst offenders in the country.
The sector comes in third behind construction (24.8%) and finance and insurance (22.1%).
Some of the sectors with the lowest gender pay gaps included accommodation and food services (1%), health and social work (1.6%) and administration and support services (6.7%).
What do you think universities should do to tackle the gender pay gap? Let us know in the comments!