Photo: Warwick Media Library

Women paid less than men at Warwick University

Male workers at Warwick are paid more than women on average, despite female employees outnumbering male employees at the University.

Following research into the pay of University staff, the Boar can reveal that the average female employee earns less than the average male.

Of the 4955 people employed by the University, there are over 500 more female workers than male, yet male academics outnumber their female counterparts 1100 to 629.

Of those earning in excess of £60,000 at Warwick, men outnumber women by a ratio of approximately four to one.

382 men employed by the University earn over £60,000, while only 103 women fit into the same pay bracket.

Following a recent report from Warwick University’s Institute for Employment Research (IER), which outlined the still existing pay gap between male and female graduates nationally, the Boar began investigating into the relative pay of male and female employees at the University.

After a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to the University, reporters from the Boar found that while 55 percent of the staff (academic and non-academic) at the University are female, women make up approximately 80 percent of those earning less than £15,000.

This is in comparison to over 80 percent of the highest earners at the University (those earning in excess of £80,000) being male, despite men only making up 45 percent of the entire workforce.

In fact, in every pay bracket below £45,000 there is a higher proportion of female workers, whereas in every pay bracket above £45,000 there is a higher proportion of male workers.

In response to these findings, a University spokesperson commented: “The University operates a single job evaluation scheme which reviews roles, not individuals and is therefore not impacted by any gender bias.

“The evaluation process dictates the grade of the role and the University has a national pay scale for levels 1a to 8 (£14,202 to £53,233).”

Against any perceived inequality, the University said they were committed to both equality and diversity and consequently conducts regular reviews of both the workforce profile and pay.

The Students’ Union’s welfare officer, Ben Sundell, believes that the distribution of pay at Warwick reflects a larger problem: “Unfortunately the gaps in pay and in position here at the University reflect a far wider systemic problem worldwide.

“The Students Union always wants to do all we can to try and help level the playing field here at Warwick, but particularly in light of the failure of the Womens Representation motion at the All Student Meeting.

“We recognise that going into the year ahead we need to make sure we are doing more to help more women run and be represented in our own organisation, and are looking at how we can work better with societies like Warwick Anti Sexism Society to help provide more grassroots support,” he commented.

In reassurances about the pay distribution at Warwick, the spokesperson added: “A number of initiatives are on-going to ensure equality of opportunity for all, regardless of any of the protected characteristics.

“The University has also placed considerable emphasis on implementing Athena SWAN principles which aim to advance the representation of women throughout all the STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths and Medicine) departments.

“The University has an Equality and Diversity Committee (which includes representatives from the Student’s Union) which reports directly to the Senate and the Council and an established network of Equality and Diversity contacts who meet termly to raise and discuss equality issues.

“The University has received several awards in recognition of its progress with Athena SWAN.  The University regularly benchmarks with external comparators, such as the Russell Group, to ensure that our procedures, pay and benefits are in line with the wider sector.”

In the report by IER, researchers for the Higher Education Careers Services Unit (Hecsu) analysed how much students who applied to higher education in 2006, earned last year.

According to the report female graduates earn thousands of pounds less than their male counterparts.

The pay gap persists even between men and women from the same types of university who studied the same subjects, the study suggested.

At the time of the report Jane Artess of Hecsu described the findings with regards to the pay distribution as “strikingly uneven”.

“Equal opportunity to access jobs and pay has been enshrined in legislation for 40 years, yet Futuretrack found that being female can make a difference to a graduate’s earning power”, said Ms Artess.

The Futuretrack project is carried out for Hecsu by Warwick University’s Institute for Employment Research.

*All figures regarding to pay at the University of Warwick are accurate as of 1 October 2012.

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Comments (6)

  • This isn’t an article about the pay gap, it’s an article about men generally having the jobs that pay more, and women generally having the jobs that pay less, which is the reason for this disparity in relative pay.
    Compare men and women in the same job and I’m sure you won’t find such disparity at the University.

    Trying to make an issue out of nothing.

    • helen whitley

      You’ve misread the article.

      The issue is that the genders aren’t equally represented across pay bands, which is directly the fault of the university.

      This “equality and diversity committe” (which includes sabbatical officers that you voted for) clearly isn’t doing its job properly.

      Paying men and women different amounts for the same job has been illegal since 1970 (the equal pay act)

      • The issue is that the genders aren’t equally represented across pay bands, which is directly the fault of the university.

        —————

        That is unfounded unless you have the statistics for how many applicants there are at each pay scale. It is only the fault of the university if the number of applicants for each pay scale is distributed differently to the gender distribution described in this article.

        If there are more men applying for the higher paid jobs and more women applying for the lower paid jobs, it is arguably directly the fault of society not the university at all.

        You seem to suggest that you agree that this is likely the case and therefore I am inclined to agree with Lewis. The fact that this article focuses on Warwick’s equality initiatives rather than the societal issues behind this difference means this is trying to make an issue out of nothing – or rather, making an issue out of the wrong issue.

        • The problem with the article is that it implies the issue is with unequal pay not unequal distribution. If whoever had researched this had done an FOI request on applicants, they may have had a stronger point to make.

          I’ll take back my point about it being the fault of the university rather than the fault of society. But universities are supposed to push society forwards. There is also the point that Universities have the ability to start solving these kinds of problems, something which is impossible to do on a societal scale.

          Warwick’s equality initiatives are exactly the kind of thing the boar should be reporting to us. Not musing on complex and unsolvable societal problems.

  • I think the big issue is probably to do with having children. I am the only one out of ten of my friends who has returned full time to work after having a child. Those who have come back part time are unlikely to seek promotion because they believe their part time status will be a barrier. This means they are unlikely to move up the pay scales in any major way, unlike their male colleagues.
    The University (and other employers) need to address that issue first: why are women unlikely to return full time to work? Probably because they fear that they will be unable to manage a child and full time job (financially and emotionally) concurrently. With nursery costs at around £1,000 a month for full time care it is hardly surprising many women prefer to stay at home some of the time. And nobody can prepare you for the emotional vs professional issues that come up when you have a sick child that you want to look after at home, but an important meeting and you don’t want to let your colleagues down.
    Although the University (and other employers) say they are ‘family friendly’, in fact it is really hard to be genuinely family friendly and to encourage new mothers to continue on their professional journey.
    Academic pay scales and grants are unfortunately not set up to support maternity leave either, hence the numbers of women leaving academia in droves around their early-mid thirties.
    Unfortunately it is a much bigger issue than the article implies, and not one that can be resolved by the University of Warwick in isolation.

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