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Gender pay gap


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A gender pay gap is a difference between the average (mean) pay of all male and female workers across all jobs in the organisation. A gender pay gap does not mean that men and women are paid different rates for the same work (which is illegal). It means that, on average, there may be more women in lower-paid jobs and more men in higher-paid jobs.

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The University supports the principle of equal pay for work of equal value. We were one of the first universities to introduce an Equal Pay Policy (staff login required) and we publish annual Equality, Diversity and Social Responsibility reports (staff login required) which describe the wide range of activities and initiatives that the University is involved with every year to celebrate and promote diversity. 

We have conducted annual Equal Pay Audits since 2003. These audits complement our aims of fairly rewarding staff, increasing efficiency and enhancing our reputation.

In 2017, the Government introduced a new duty for organisations to report their Gender Pay Gap. They use a standard approach which is slightly different from the one we have used previously (a wider pool of staff that includes casual workers and fee and expenses claimants, and different pay elements). This means that our Gender Pay Gap has been calculated differently since 2017, but remains comparable to our data from previous years.

Gender Pay Gap data

The following data relates to a March 2020 snapshot for publication in 2021.

Women are well-represented at all levels including our most senior academic, professional and leadership roles, and this is reflected in our Mean Gender Pay Gap of 8.6%, which remains much better than the mean pay gap in the UK workforce and has improved significantly since the previous year. This pay gap is the difference between the average hourly pay of all men, and the average hourly pay of all women across all roles in the organisation.

Chart 1. Gender Pay Gap trends

Bar chart showing mean gender pay gap percentages between 2003 and 2020, and median pay gaps between 2017 and 2020.

Chart 1 is a bar chart showing the mean gender pay gap percentages between 2003 and 2020, and median pay gaps between 2017 and 2020. Lines show the UK benchmark. In the latest year the University is significantly better than the mean benchmark, and slightly worse than the median benchmark.

Table 1. Gender Pay Gap trends

Year

Mean Gender Pay Gap (Sunderland)

Median Gender Pay Gap (Sunderland)

Mean UK Workforce (ONS*)

Median UK Workforce (ONS*)

2003

30.9%

 

24.2%

25.1%

2004

29.4%

 

22.5%

24.7%

2005

26.2%

 

21.4%

22.6%

2006

24.9%

 

21.4%

22.2%

2007

23.6%

 

20.7%

21.9%

2008

24.2%

 

21.3%

22.5%

2009

22.9%

 

20.1%

22.0%

2010

22.3%

 

19.3%

19.8%

2011

21.6%

 

19.6%

20.2%

2012

20.7%

 

18.6%

19.6%

2013

16.5%

 

19.1%

19.8%

2014

14.8%

 

17.7%

19.2%

2015

13.0%

 

17.7%

19.3%

2016

Not reported

 

17.5%

18.2%

2017

12.0%

20.9%

17.2%

18.4%

2018

14.6%

15.4%

17.1%

17.9%

2019

15.5%

21.2%

16.2%

17.3%

2020

8.6%

18.5%

14.6%

15.5%

* Office of National Statistics: Latest revised Annual survey of hours and earnings (ASHE) gender pay gap tables. Prior years have been updated where Government figures have been adjusted.

The Median pay gap works by standing all women and all men in two imaginary lines in order of pay and then comparing the rate of pay of the middle woman and man in each line. The ‘line’ of women is longer and a greater proportion of the women have lower pay, so the middle woman has a lower hourly rate than the middle man.

Chart 2. Distribution of male and female staff by hourly rate

Histogram showing hourly rate of pay vs number of staff for men and women.

Chart 2 is a histogram showing hourly rate of pay vs number of staff for men and women. Both men and women’s plots are a similar shape, with a gradual increase in rate of pay along the line of lower paid staff, and a sharp increase in the rate of pay for the highest paid staff. However, the plot for women is longer and rises more slowly, so that the median women has a lower rate of pay than the median man.

Our Median Gender Pay Gap of 18.5% partly reflects the fact that there are some roles at the lower end of our pay structure, such as student ambassador, casual, domestic and administrative roles which tend to be predominantly filled by women.
 
Chart 3 presents the number of men and women in £10 hourly pay bands, showing that there are substantially more women in the £1-£10 and £11-20 bands.
 

Chart 3. Number of staff in each £10 pay band by gender

Line chart showing number of staff on the vertical axis and £10 pay bands on the horizontal axis.

Chart 3 is a line chart showing number of staff on the vertical axis and £10 pay bands on the horizontal axis. The majority of staff on both the men’s and women’s lines are in the £1-10 and £11-20 pay bands, but there are substantially more women in those two pay bands.

Bonuses

The Government requires organisations to specify the pay gap in any bonus pay, however our very low number of bonuses means that the statutory calculation is not statistically meaningful.

Only 0.2% of men (2 individuals) and 0.2% of women (3 individuals) received a bonus (recognition payment) in the 12 months to 31st March 2020.

  • The Mean Bonus Gender Pay Gap is -12.6% (in favour of women). This is the difference between the average bonus paid to the 2 males and 3 females who received a bonus.
  • The Median Bonus Gender Pay Gap is -35.1% (in favour of women). This compares the actual bonus paid to the middle person in the list of 2 males and 3 females who received a bonus. Because only two males received a bonus, an average of the male bonuses was used.

Quartiles

Lastly, the Government requires organisations to rank all staff according to pay and split them into 4 equal parts (quartiles) then publish what proportion of each quartile is male or female.

  • Our upper (fourth) quartile is nearly 50% female. It includes Senior Managers, Professors and Associate Professors, senior academics and non-academic professionals
  • Our upper middle (third) quartile is more than 50% female and includes many professional support grades, Lecturers and Senior Lecturers, Academic Tutors and Casual Workers.
  • The higher proportion of women in the lower quartiles is a significant influence on our overall pay gap.
The data for quartiles is shown in the charts below:

Chart 4. Quartiles by gender

A bar chart with four percentage bars representing pay quartiles showing the proportion of men and women in each quartile.  The lowest quartile is 58% women, lower middle is 60% women, upper middle is 57% women, and the highest is 47% women.

Chart 4 is a bar chart with four percentage bars representing pay quartiles showing the proportion of men and women in each quartile. The lowest quartile is 58% women, lower middle is 60% women, upper middle is 57% women, and the highest is 47% women. Another bar chart to the right shows the same data but with bars representing the number of men and women in each quartile.

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