Jump to accessibility statement Skip to content

Gender pay gap

Home / About / About the University / Equality, Diversity and Inclusion / Gender pay gap

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 and we publish annual Equality, Diversity and Social Responsibility reports which describe the wide range of activities and initiatives that the University is involved with every year to celebrate and promote diversity.

CitySpace windows

We have conducted annual Equal Pay Audits since 2003 and have been cited by the Equality and Human Rights Commission. 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.

View Government guidance and definitions.

Gender Pay Gap

The following data relates to a March 2018 snapshot for publication in 2019.

Women are well-represented at all levels of our grading structure, including our most senior academic, professional and leadership roles, and this is reflected in our Mean Gender Pay Gap of 14.6%, which remains much better than the pay gap in the UK workforce. This pay gap is the difference between the average pay of all men, and the average pay of all women in the organisation.

gender pay gap chart

The Median pay gap works by standing all men and all women in two imaginary lines in order of pay and then comparing the rate of pay of the middle man and woman in each line. Our Median Gender Pay Gap of 15.4% reflects the fact that, in addition to the positive representation of women across our pay structure, there are some part-time roles at the lower end of our pay structure which tend to be predominantly filled by women (see Bonuses and Quartiles below; for example we have many Domestic Support Assistants who are mostly women.)

Year Mean Gender Pay Gap (University of Sunderland) Median Gender Pay Gap (University of Sunderland) Mean UK Workforce (ONS*) Median UK Workforce (ONS*)
2003 30.9% Not reported 24.2% 25.1%
2004 29.4% Not reported 22.5% 24.7%
2005 26.2% Not reported 21.4% 22.6%
2006 24.9% Not reported 21.4% 22.2%
2007 23.6% Not reported 20.7% 21.9%
2008 24.2% Not reported 21.3% 22.5%
2009 22.9% Not reported 20.1% 22.0%
2010 22.3% Not reported 19.3% 19.8%
2011 21.6% Not reported 19.6% 20.2%
2012 20.7% Not reported 18.6% 19.6%
2013 16.5% Not reported 19.1% 19.8%
2014 14.8% Not reported 17.7% 19.2%
2015 13.0% Not reported 17.7% 19.3%
2016 Not reported Not reported 17.5% 18.2%
2017 12.0% 20.9% 17.2% 18.4%
2018   14.6% 15.4% 17.1% 17.9%

*Office of National Statistics: Annual survey of hours and earnings (ASHE) gender pay gap tables. 2017 ONS revised data. 2018 ONS provisional data.

View our most recent Equality, Diversity and Social Responsibility annual reports.

Visit the Government's website for Gender Pay Gap data.


The Government requires organisations to specify the pay gap in any bonus pay (both mean and median). The University paid almost no recognition payments or Long Service Award vouchers in the relevant 12 month period, which included a period of internal reorganisation.

0.4% of males (3 individuals) received a bonus and 0.2% of females (2 individuals) received a bonus in the 12 months to 31 March 2018. These very low numbers mean that the statutory bonus pay gap calculation produces unusual results which are not statistically useful. 

  • The Mean Bonus Gender Pay Gap is the difference between the average bonus received by male and female employees: for the average of the 3 males and 2 females who received a bonus this gives a 73% gap in favour of men.
  • The Median Bonus Gender Pay Gap works by standing all men and all women who received a bonus in two imaginary lines and then comparing the bonus of the middle man and woman in each line: for the median of the 3 males and 2 females who received a bonus this gives a -200% gap in favour of women.


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 has fairly balanced representation of men and women (44.7% female) and a very small gender pay gap. This quartile includes all Senior Managers, Professors and Associate Professors (Readers) together with other senior academics and professional support grades.
  • Our upper middle (third) quartile is 55% female and has a small gender pay gap in favour of women. This quartile includes many professional support grades, Lecturers and Senior Lecturers, Academic Tutors and Casual Workers.
  • The significant proportion of women (69.1%) in the lower (first) quartile, for example in Administrative, Internship and Domestic Support Assistant roles, is a significant influence on our overall median pay gap.

The data for quartiles is shown in the charts below:

     Proportion of staff in each quartile            Number of staff in each quartile
Mean hourly rate by gender Mean gender pay gap chart
ReciteMe accessibility toolbar button