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Durham University


Frequently Asked Questions

List of FAQs

+What is the University doing about our Gender Pay Gap?

As a University we do not have any issues with equal pay – staff doing the same role are paid equally. 

However, we recognise that we have a problem with our gender pay gap, which is the difference in the average hourly wage of all men and women across the workforce. 

This pay gap is large and not where we want it to be. 

The root cause of our gender pay gap is the structure of our workforce, with more women in lower paid roles compared to men. 

For most of our academic colleagues there is no significant (>5%) gender pay gap by grade. The exception is for our Professors, who are split into three bands according to seniority. In our Band 2 Professors, women are paid on average more than men, but for our most senior (Band 3) Professors, men are paid on average higher than women. And there are many more male than female Band 3 Professors.

So a key problem for us is that we have far fewer senior female academic staff than male equivalents. We are trying hard to address this, via our recruitment, pay, and promotion practices. Whilst this takes time, we are making progress. 

In the 2019 promotions round, for example, the percentage of women promoted in all Faculties was higher than males, and there were more female promotions between the three Professorial bands than men. And over the last few years we have hired a significantly higher proportion of female academics than previously.

Within our Professional Service Staff we have a significant pay gap in our Casual and our lower paid, Grade 2 and 3 staff. Our Casual staff include students and colleagues who work in Colleges, or who deliver important teaching. 

There is a University working group that is reviewing how we can reduce the gender pay gap, whilst improving the contractual status of Casual staff across the University. 

Although the gender pay gap headline figure remains disappointing, we have in place a number of initiatives to help move us in the right direction.

For our academics: we will continue to implement the new progression and promotion process which actively supports all staff to achieve their full potential, and which is having positive outcomes for female academics.

For our professional support staff: we have developed Job Families and clearly defined career pathways or ‘maps’ which will allow an understanding of what skills are needed to move up within a family, or between families, thereby driving development opportunities.

For all staff: we have reviewed and updated our pay and reward policies to ensure that the system is consistently applied, achieving a more transparent and fair distribution of rewards.