In our joint statement, the University and the trade unions committed to working together with a view to formalising a collective agreement, including action plans and targets, by the end of the academic year in 2021, to address the gender pay gap.

The last months have seen the joint working group build a detailed picture of the characteristics of our community with respect to pay and looked in depth at the data that relates to recruitment, promotion, progression, and retention. We’ve also taken time to consider the impact of such things as caring responsibilities, and their effects in the medium to longer term.

We recognise that the gender pay gap is but one measure of gender equality. The joint working group is concentrating on identifying actions which will have a systemic effect in improving equality. We are pleased that in the last year we have seen commitments and changes in recruitment guidance reflecting good practice:

  • Ensuring that Recruitment Panel Chairs have undertaken refresher training within the last three years

  • Ensuring that interview panels must be visibly diverse, with various genders, ethnicities, ages, and disabilities represented, wherever/if possible

  • Adopting anonymised shortlisting as standard wherever practicable

Building on what has been achieved in the last three years, we are now looking closely at the following areas with the aim of continuing to lower the gender pay gap median:

  • Reviewing the relative success of men and women in such reward processes as outstanding contribution, recognising excellence, and professorial and senior salary reviews

  • Reviewing a cross section of old roles to understand if gender bias may have had an impact on grading

  • Creating new ways to develop managers, identify career paths, and identify talented individuals so that women, and others in marginalised groups, will be at least as likely to progress their careers in the University as their majority male counterparts

Both the University and the trade unions are committed to the eradication of the gender pay gap. It remains our joint aim to formalise a collective agreement and create meaningful action plans with jointly agreed targets, timescales and dates to review progress, which we now aim to publish in the first semester of the 21/22 academic year.