Gender Pay Gap
The GPG working group formally reports to the Gender Equality Committee, which is a formal sub-committee of the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee (ED&IC). The ED&IC is chaired by the Provost and DVC, and reports directly to Council.
The GPG working group will meet regularly during 2018, and is keen to hear from and talk to staff and other stakeholders over the coming weeks, to feed ideas into the University.
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What is the Gender Pay Gap (GPG) and how does it differ from Equal Pay?
The GPG shows the difference between the average earnings of men or women expressed as a percentage of men’s earnings. Both the mean and median figures are reported.
The mean hourly rate is the average hourly wage across the entire organisation. The mean gender pay gap is a measure of the difference between women’s mean (average) hourly wage and men’s mean (average) hourly wage.
The median hourly rate is calculated by ranking all employees from the highest paid to the lowest paid, and taking the hourly wage of the person in the middle; so the median gender pay gap is the difference between women’s median hourly wage (the middle paid woman) and men’s median hourly wage (the middle paid man).
GPG is different from equal pay. An equal pay audit shows any pay differences between men and women who carry out the same jobs, similar jobs or work of equal value (e.g. the same grade). Equal pay audits therefore examine data at each grade, as opposed to the overall GPG which takes the average pay of all staff across the entire organisation, regardless of grade and role, and calculates the difference by gender.
What have previous GPG and equal pay audits shown?
We have undertaken an equal pay audit every three years since 2003, and the next equal pay report will be produced in 2018. In previous equal pay audits, we have considered data at each grade, and also calculated an overall GPG for each grade.
The results of the 2015 equal pay audit show that we do not have an equal pay issue. There are no significant pay gaps within any of our grades (a significant pay gap is one which is 5% or more). You can find a table of these results in the 'downloads' section.
When looking at the overall GPG over time, there has been a decrease from 32.2% in 2003 to 16.7% in 2015 (note that different methodology to that introduced by the legislation was used to calculate this).
See the full details here: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/hr/equality/gpg/equalpayreview2015
Which period of time does the Pay Gap and Bonus Pay data refer to?
The new gender pay gap reporting legislation was introduced in 2017, under which public sector employers with more than 250 employees must publish gender pay gap information. The legislation is very specific about what has to be reported.
Our gender pay gap figures have been calculated in line with this legislation which is based on a snapshot of our workforce at March 2017. GPG figures must be taken on 31 March annually, following which organisations have twelve months to publish the information.
Our bonus gap figures are based on bonus, incentive and recognition payments from a number of different schemes paid from April 2016 to March 2017.
All future reporting of the GPG will be on an annual basis, in line with the new legislative requirements.
How has the methodology change affected our Gender Pay Gap figures since 2015?
For the first time, our gender pay gap figures for March 2017 have been calculated in line with new legislation. This legislation included new variables which means the figure is higher than the one reported in 2015.
However, we also ran our figures again under the old methodology we had used previously, to check if we were continuing to reduce our GPG. Using our old methodology, our pay gap reduced from 32.2% in 2003 to 15.2% in 2017.
All future reporting of the GPG will be on an annual basis in line with the new legislation.
Why is our median figure lower than our mean figure?
Our median is lower because the mean (average) is impacted by outliers – individuals with earnings higher or lower than the norm. As the mid-point of male and female earnings, the median is generally acknowledged as a better indicator of the most typical figure where there are outliers.
What are the ‘quartiles’ and how do they affect the GPG?
The quartiles are a way of splitting the workforce into four quarters according to level of pay. Our quartiles broadly correspond to our grade structure (lower G1-4, lower middle G4-7, upper middle G7-8, upper G8+) but this is variable given that pay is based on gross pay after salary sacrifice, so individuals who are in salary sacrifice schemes may be in a lower pay quartile than we would expect for their grade.
The quartile data shows a steady decrease in the percentage of females in the workforce as we move up the quartiles. This means that there are more male staff in the upper quartiles than female staff, which impacts on the GPG.
How do different awards affect the bonus gap?
The bonus gap is calculated by combining incentive and bonus payments from a number of very different schemes. The legislation requires us to report on a single mean and median bonus gap figure based on all bonus and incentive schemes, rather than report on each scheme separately. Further analysis shows that:
- The scheme which has the greatest impact on our bonus gap, is the Clinical Excellence Awards (CEA) Scheme, which almost doubles our overall bonus gap figure. The CEA scheme applies to clinical academics in our employment but who are on NHS terms and conditions and pay scales. A greater proportion of males are currently eligible to receive CEAs which have a high monetary value, so this has a significant impact on our overall bonus gap.
- The median bonus gap figure was heavily influenced by our Recognition Award Scheme which had a 40% median bonus gap on its own, whereas our senior pay schemes had a 0% median bonus gap. We will be undertaking a review of our Recognition Awards scheme during 2018, to understand further why there is such a difference in the awards that male and female staff receive.
What has the University done to reduce the pay gap?
The University is working on a number of actions and initiatives to progress gender equality, which collectively have a positive impact on our gender pay gap – Mentoring programmes for female academic staff; the Women Academic Returners Programme; Athena Swan; support for networks; three yearly Equal Pay Audits – details of which can be found on our main GPG page. We are fully committed to continuing to work on and support these.
What further actions are we taking to positively impact on the GPG?
We recognise that the reasons for GPGs are complex and widespread, and actions to address this have to be sustained and long-term.
It is clear from our quartile figures that a key factor in our GPG is the distribution of female and male staff across the grades, with more female staff in lower grades, and more male staff in senior positions. The Athena Swan work taking place across the University is one way we have been addressing this. Over recent years we have seen significant progress on the number of departments who hold Athena Swan, and on the number of women in senior roles.
In addition to existing activity on gender equality, there are further specific actions that we have committed to (see the GPG narrative document for details). For example, we have been working with departments directly to try to actively rebalance the workforce through recruitment processes, and will continue to do this; we are developing a new and transparent Academic Careers Pathway which clearly identifies expectations around academic, research and teaching roles; and we have gained University support to introduce mandatory training for staff around Unconscious Bias and Equality, Diversity & Inclusion.
We have also committed to continue working with Trade Union and other colleagues, through the GPG working group, on future GPG reporting, and on the 2018 Equal Pay Audit.
The University has undertaken equal pay audits every three years since 2003. The last audit calculated the overall pay gap by mean and median, and calculated median pay gaps by grade and full-time and part-time working hours.
The 2018 audit is due to take place from August 2018 (as it is based on July 31st figures). The GPG working group will agree on the criteria to be included, drawing on the new UCEA JNCHES (Joint Negotiating Committee for Higher Education Staff) guidance to universities to inform the criteria:
Having the same group consider both gender pay gap and equal pay data will provide the opportunity to look holistically at the data, and develop actions accordingly.