At the University of we are committed to equality of employment. We use a grading system to measure equal work, to ensure fairness and consistency by measuring all jobs against the same criteria.

Between 2018 and 2019:

  • the median pay gap reduced by 1%
  • the mean gap reduced by 0.2%
  • more women received bonus pay than men

Gender distribution

Our workforce is, overall, 52% female and 48% male. Along with most other Universities, there are different proportions in different parts of the workforce. The important issue about the gender pay gap is that it measures two things:

  • the pay people (by gender) get for doing the same equivalent job
  • the distribution of those people (by gender) within the organisation

The more difficult challenge we face as a University is the distribution of the numbers of men and women at different grades. It is the lower proportion of women in the more senior grades and lower proportion of men in the lower grades which contribute significantly to the difference in mean and median pay. We also know that more women than men work choose to take up flexible working opportunities and that these are currently more common in the lower grades.

Reducing the gap - what we've done already

In 2019, the University established a Gender Pay Gap Working Group, jointly with the Trades Unions, to investigate further into the causes of the gender pay gap and to develop an action plan for reducing the gap. The Group identified two key areas where the University could take action to help reduce the gender pay gap:


  • We now ensure there is a balanced gender mix involved in all stages of the recruitment process
  • We have trialled ‘blind shortlisting’ at the first stage of our recruitment process in two Departments
  • We have developed our management information provision so that we can better analyse the gender makeup of each Department so that we can tailor our recruitment approach
  • We now use a programme to assess language neutrality and bias in our recruitment adverts
  • We promote our flexible working offer on all our recruitment adverts as standard
  • We now ensure that there is at least one person on each recruitment panel who is trained on gender issues, and we actively target those individuals for refresher training every five years


  • We have conducted career progression information workshops for academic employees to help ‘myth-bust’ gender stereotypes
  • We have developed and piloted career management reports to help Heads of Department support their academic employees with their career progression, and to help Heads of Department identify any trends related to promotion rates, including trends related to gender

What we will do now

  • We are investigating the feasibility of an academic returners programme to support individuals returning from parental leave
  • We will roll out our career management reports University-wide (currently piloted in three Departments). These reports can assist academic Heads of Department in supporting the career progression of their staff. This will allow and gender trends to be identified and challenged/investigated
  • Pilot ‘blind-shortlisting’ at first stage recruitment University-wide
  • We are continuing to work towards attaining an Athena SWAN silver award