Equal Pay Review 2015


Presented below are the results of the fifth University of Sheffield Equal Pay Review, based on staff data as at 31 July 2015. This report covers all employees of the University of Sheffield.

Equal pay reviews compare the pay of men and women doing work of equal value. The aim of them is to identify any gender pay gaps, and to make recommendations that work towards closing any pay gaps that could not be explained by grounds other than gender. The University’s reviews are also extended to investigate gender pay gaps by ethnicity and disability, although caution needs to be exercised with these figures because of the relatively low numbers involved and the risk of skewing associated with that.

Equal pay reviews have been carried out in 2003, 2006, 2009, 2012 and 2015.

The pay gaps in previous reports were based on an average salary calculation. The overall pay gap in this report has been provided by average to allow us to examine the overall trend, and by median salary.

This report also calculates individual grade pay gaps by median. While this does limit the capability to compare directly to pay gaps of previous years, calculating by median is less susceptible to outliers and extreme values, thereby allowing for greater accuracy.

Results have been hidden where the pool of staff considered was less than five, to protect anonymity.

Our current picture 2015

The average pay gap has fell from 21.9% in 2012 to 16.7% in 2015. The median gap is 13.7%.The median gender pay gap for all UK employees in 2015 is 19.2%, and the median pay gap for all Higher Education sector employees is 14.7%. The University’s overall pay gap is a full percentage point below the HE sector median, at 13.7%.

The picture for the overall gender pay gap has improved over time. Like most of the sector, the University had a ‘leaky pipeline’ of female academic staff. To address this, the University began to actively pursue a strategy to improve the representation of female academic staff. Analysis of key points of attrition led to a number of targeted interventions coupled with a focus on wider culture change, and activity has been driven at a strategic level by the introduction of a Key Performance Indicator that 23 per cent of professors should be female by 2015/16.

The University’s gender pay gap for 2015 is markedly lower for staff at Grades 1-9 (USGS staff) when compared to the entire workforce.

The overall pay gap remains partly due to the higher proportion of male staff at Grades 9 and above and the lower proportion of male staff at Grades 5, 4 and 1.

Gender All Staff

The Equal Pay Review for 2015 clearly demonstrates positive progress in closing the gender pay gap, which we are confident is in large part due to our continued focus on activities to address gender representation across the University.

The suite of initiatives relating to gender equality includes, inter alia:

• our success in achieving Athena Swan recognition – all 23 STEM departments now hold an award, covering 69% of academic staff, 27% of which are in Silver departments
• our work to eliminate unconscious bias through training and also through the Portrait of a Woman project – the portrait of Professor Gillian Gehring, Emeritus Professor of Physics, now hangs in Firth Hall, with two more portraits planned
• the Impact and Futures mentoring programmes specifically for female academics, resulting in a higher proportion of participants being successfully promoted when compared to the overall eligible pool
• the building of women’s networks
• improved maternity support, including the Women’s Academic Returners’ Programme which enables women academics and researchers to keep their research on track following a period of maternity leave
• integration of equality and diversity into MANAGE training to instil confidence into managers

Impact is also evident within leadership roles.

• Four out of 11 members of the UEB (compared to none in 2011), including the deputy VC are female; and the University appointed its first female Chancellor (Rt Hon Lady Justice Rafferty) and first female Deputy Vice Chancellor (Prof Shearer West).
• Female representation amongst committees has improved - 11 of 15 Senate Committees have over 40% female representation. Overall, 44% of the members of Senate committees are female. Additionally, a third (6/18) of the University Council are female, the highest proportion in eight years.
• The University met its KPI for 23% female professors early, and a further challenging target of 30% was discussed by University Council with agreement of the approach to work with faculties on their own targets and to join the 30% Club.

The University believes that inclusive and diverse teams at all levels will deliver greater impact in our research and teaching, and will enhance the experience of our students. Placing diversity at the heart of workforce planning (encompassing recruitment, promotion and succession planning) is vital to achieve a step change in our staff profile, to build diverse teams at every level, and in every department.

In addition to the University's 13.7% overall pay gap in favour of male staff, there is a 2.9% pay gap in favour of non-Minority Ethnic Orgin (MEO) staff and a 12.4% gap in favour of non-disabled staff.

A table showing the pay gaps for gender, ethenicity and disability-split by All Staff and USGS Staff

For disability, the gap for grades 1-9 is higher than for all staff. This is also the only area where the gap has increased in each audit since 2009. It is supsected that the low proportion of staff with a declared disability may be a contributing factor to this increased gap.

As the overall ethnicity pay gap was not significant (less than 5%), a further investigation was not conducted into this area.

A table showing the pay gap trend in '09, '12 and '15.