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Durham University

Human Resources & Organisational Development

Pay Gap Analysis


Durham University’s mean gender pay gap for the year to April 2018 is 23.77%, which includes staff on casual contracts. The graph above offers a helpful illustration to explain the pay gap, which stems from the uneven distribution of men and women across the four quartiles. Women are represented at all levels of the pay structure, but there are more male employees in the top quartile, and a higher proportion of female employees in the bottom quartile, on a lower rate of hourly pay.

Men and women who are doing the same job at Durham University are paid the same amount. The University has a very structured approach to pay, with various grades and pay points within these grades. This plays a very important role in ensuring pay levels are decided in a consistent manner.

In more detail

The nature of this study requires that a workforce profile is divided by both gender and quartile. This enables direct comparisons to be drawn between organisations which don’t have clear pay structures. The graph above ranks employees from the lowest to the highest hourly rate, splitting the workforce into four equal groups.

The lower quartile, the bottom 25%, is predominantly casual workers (61.23%). They undertake various roles within the University, but the majority work within catering teams. A significant proportion of these are female. The mean overall hourly rate for female employees is reduced considerably by the number of female employees who fall into this lower quartile and who are chiefly casual workers.

The proportion of male (48.08%) and female (51.92%) employees in the Upper Middle Quartile is similar. This quartile predominantly consists of permanent employees (83.21%). Employees within this quartile are mostly paid within the University’s main pay structure.

Within the Upper Quartile of pay, male employees account for 63.23% of employees. Whilst women are represented at every pay level, there are less of them within the upper quartile.

The Gap at the Bottom and Top

It is apparent that the greatest discrepancy between male and female pay occurs at the top and bottom of the spectrum.

Consistent with these findings, within the University’s own pay grading system, the largest gender pay gap exists at Grades 2 and 3. For all other grades, the gender pay gap is less than 5%. This is due to the 24/7 care and support the University provides to students through the Collegiate system. There are a number of lower paid, College-based roles that attract special allowance payments as they require unsociable hours or lone working – and in these posts the University employs more men than women. The University is looking at how to make these roles more attractive to women.

The University recognises that a problem also exists at the top, amongst the most senior staff. This is being addressed by changing the recruitment and promotion process and making this more fair and transparent.