Earlier this week, The Mancunion reported that the University of Manchester pays its female staff 12 percent less than their male colleagues, meaning for every £10 a man earns, a woman earns just £8.80. This is based upon data acquired by the BBC from the Government Equalities Office.
The analysis also revealed this to be the largest pay gap of all Greater Manchester universities. Female staff at Manchester Metropolitan University earn 6 percent less than male employees, The Royal Northern College of Music has a 9.4 percent split and the pay gap at the University of Salford sits at 11.2 percent.
SU General Secretary, Fatima Abid, told The Mancunion: “It is very upsetting to find that the University is still at a 12 percent pay gap. I really hope that this means the University will try even harder to make sure there are more women in senior positions, more BAME women in senior positions to close that gap quicker than they’re currently [doing].
“The fact that we have the biggest gap [of universities in Greater Manchester] is not good, considering the reputation of this University, so I really hope they will close it as quick as possible.”
While the pay gap at UoM has decreased from 13.1 percent in 2018, the average split in education for 2019 still sits at an astonishing 20 percent.
The gender pay gap is calculated by comparing the difference in the mean pay of male and female staff employed by the same organisation. It can therefore be argued that the gap is simply caused by less women holding senior positions within UK universities
However, that’s exactly the problem. There’s clearly a gender imbalance in academia that universities need to address. Women are just as capable and qualified as men and this needs to be reflected in the balance of male and female staff holding senior positions, particularly in institutions such as universities, which exist to promote progression in our society.
It’s 2019. Universities – which lie on foundations of learning and growth – need to promote gender equality in the staff it employs instead of working against it, which the BBC’s statistics seem to have revealed.