Our gender pay gap is decreasing, and has been for some time, but we need to keep working hard to reduce it further, especially as we continue to expand.
We continuously look for ways of making a positive change, and strive to learn from each and every opportunity that we identify. Just some of our recent areas of focus include:
The Bay Campus Recruitment:
Our Bay Recruitment project challenged gender role stereotypes, within our Estates department. Using a new working model that combined responsibilities of the same grade, allowed us to recruit colleagues to work across multiple areas, in an agile way. This helped break down unconscious gender bias associated with particular tasks. Feedback was positive and post implementation figures showed a 50:50 gender representation in this area.
We have an underrepresentation of female professors, which negatively impacts our gender pay gap. We are reviewing contributing factors, to identify improvements and ensure that our female academics have the support they need to apply for promotion. As a result of this ongoing work, we are pleased to report a 60% increase in the number of female applicants to professorial level, between 2015 and 2017. Success at academic promotion has positively impacted on the percentage of female professors; rising from 13% of the professoriate in 2012 to 22% in 2017.
The increase that we’ve seen, and continue to see, in female academic promotion is a really positive step, but this is just one part of the bigger picture. As part of our continuous benchmarking and approach to fairness in pay, we were very pleased to announce a professorial base pay increase earlier this year. The increase impacts 40% of our female professors. We’ve still got work to do in this area, but we are heading in the right direction.
Development & Training:
Our sector leading Professional Development Review (PDR) system enables staff to formally have a meaningful conversation regarding their personal development, at least twice a year. PDR’s are in addition to our other development initiatives, such as our mentoring program, and for the last 6 years, 99% of staff have had their annual PDR.
We also invest in career development and training programs, to specifically assist in closing the gender pay gap. For example, we proudly offer the Aurora Leadership program to our female colleagues. Aurora provides an opportunity for women to influence their institutions and to develop leadership skills, which in turn supports them to progress to higher graded roles. 2018 has seen us support 30 participants in the programme, this is more than double the number of participants in 2017.
We are one of just 17 UK universities to hold an Athena SWAN Silver Institutional Award. The accreditation recognises advancements of gender equality in terms of representation, progression and success for all. Our Athena SWAN action plan reinforces our commitment to equality in pay, including improving our gender pay gap.
We want all colleagues to have the right work-life balance. We invest in our benefits and wellbeing package, which includes our flexible working and family friendly leave arrangements. By doing this, we hope to remove any barriers that might otherwise prevent people from reaching their full potential, regardless of their gender and life commitments.