Palatinate exposes gender and ethnicity pay gap

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A series of Freedom of Information requests questioning pay, gender, and ethnicity of staff at the University has revealed that the number of men earning a salary in the highest grade pay scale (Grade 10) is more than double the number of women earning a salary in the same grade.

The requests also found that, although the number of female staff (2,021) is significantly higher than the number of male staff (1,604) employed on open-ended or permanent contracts, there are significantly more men in higher paid positions across the University.

The statisics released by the University also appear to point towards an ethnicity imbalance in the University’s highest paid positions.

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In managerial positions, the University employs 242 white members of staff, compared to a figure of less than five in the black and minority ethnic (BME) category. Similarly, 1,037 staff working in academic roles are white, while 105 are BME.

When asked what the University could do to encourage ethnic diversity, particularly in its appointment of managerial roles, the University told Palatinate: “We are now consulting with staff on all areas of equality and diversity.”

The University stressed that on all their employment adverts, they include the statement “Applications are particularly welcome from women and black and minority ethnic candidates, who are under-represented in academic posts in the University.”

As of 31st January 2015, the number of women in both clerical and manual categories of employment considerably outweighed the number of men working in the same roles. The University employs 661 open-ended or permanent staff in clerical roles, yet 599 of these workers are female. In a similar picture, the University employs 842 staff open-ended or permanently in manual roles, with 529 of these being female.

While females marginally outweigh males in managerial positions, with 140 females to 107 males respectively, the number of men working in academic positions within the University is notably higher across all three contract categories (i.e. open-ended/permanent, fixed term, and casual).

Speaking to Palatinate, the University commented: “Occupational segregation is clearly a contributory factor here and at Durham, we are not outside the norm for such roles.

“Occupational segregation is clearly a contributory factor here and at Durham, we are not outside the norm for such roles.”

“There is no specific reason and we are inclusive in our advertisements that are promoted via the local job centre as well as on the University website.

“The University is aware of this issue and has been doing many things to ensure that women are given every opportunity to progress to the higher grades, including demystifying promotion courses, mentoring, and coaching opportunities.”

Last year, the University’s Executive Committee and its governing bodies approved the Gender Equality Action Plan 2014-2017. This plan attempts to address gender inequalities and tackle unequal representation of women or men.

The Committee stated: “There are both personal and structural obstacles to women making the transition from PhD into senior academic positions and managerial levels, which require the active consideration of the organisation.”

“There are both personal and structural obstacles to women making the transition from PhD into senior academic positions and managerial levels, which require the active consideration of the organisation.”

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There has been a significant loss rate of women in the science departments, which the organisation calls “an urgent concern.”

Out of 8,323 staff that the University employs, 2,460 work in academic positions, followed by 2,156 in manual positions, and 1,616 in clerical positions.

The higher ratio of women to men working in either clerical or manual positions at the University raises questions regarding the widening pay gap between genders, particularly in lower paid roles.

Of 686 staff members earning the minimum wage, employed by the University on a casual basis, 391 are female and 295 are male.

Similarly, out of 486 earning Durham Pay Grade 1 working on a permanent or open-ended contract, 403 are female and 83 are male.

In its division of pay to staff employed directly by the University, 551 (12.91%) staff earn less than £7.85 per hour, 2,081 (48.77%) earn more than £7.85 per hour but less than £20 per hour, 1,031 (24.16%) earn more than (and including) £20 per hour but less than £50 per hour, and 415 (9.73%) earn more than (and including) £30 per hour but less than £40 per hour.

Likewise, 126 (2.95%) earn more than (and including) £40 per hour but less than £50 per hour, while 61 (1.43%) earn more than (and including) £50 per hour but less than £100 per hour. Two members of staff (0.05%) earn more than (and including) £100 per hour but less than £200 per hour.

As of 24th April 2015, there were 120 known ‘contracted-out’ members of staff working at the University, where their roles may be, but aren’t limited to, cleaners, security staff, and parking attendants. Of these 120 individuals, 41 were being paid less than £7.85 per hour, equating to 34.16%.

The University also disclosed the top 10 staff annual salaries, with four staff members earning between £140,000-£150,000 per year, four earning between £150,000-£200,000 per year, and two earning more than (and including) £200,000 per year.

In a separate Freedom of Information request by Palatinate, the University refused to disclose information regarding the salary of the University’s new Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stuart Corbridge, until after he joins the University on 1st September 2015.

All statistics quoted in this article stand correct as of 31st January 2015 unless otherwise stated.

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