Closing the gap – Pay at Ulster University
Pay equality is a priority at Ulster. For the past six years, we have carried out a Gender Pay Gap Analysis to see how we compare with other Higher Institutions in GB.
Gender pay gap reporting came into force in Great Britain on 31 March 2017, however, it doesn’t apply in Northern Ireland.
The Employment Act (NI) 2016 introduces an equivalent gender pay gap information-reporting obligation but this hasn’t come into force yet. In anticipation of this we have calculated our gender pay gap, using ACAS guidance.
What is the Gender Pay Gap?
A gender pay gap is the percentage difference between the average pay of male employees and female employees within a given group. It is different from an Equal Pay Review, which sets out to examine whether males and females are being paid the same (that is, equally) for doing equal work.
As such, no inference can or should be made about equal pay using gender pay gap information. Gender pay gaps can occur where men and women are distributed differently across an institution (that is, where there is occupational segregation).
Gender Pay Gap Reporting
Both the median and mean calculations are used because they are complimentary metrics and illustrate aspects of the distribution of pay across an organisation.
The median is the midpoint of the range of salaries received, expressed as an hourly rate of pay.
The mean is the overall average of salaries, also expressed as an hourly rate of pay.
In 2021 our median gender gap was 13.7%. This is 2.5% narrower than that for UK Higher Education. The median pay for female staff was £20.29. The median pay for male staff was £23.51.
In 2021 our mean gender pay gap was 14.0%. This is 4.3% narrower than that for UK Higher Education. The mean pay for female staff was £22.57. The mean pay for male staff was £26.25.
Proportion of Men and Women in Each Pay Quartile
The Gender Pay Gap reporting regulations require us to review the gender pay distribution across the University in four equally sized quartiles. These are calculated by listing all employees by their hourly rate of pay, from the lowest to the highest, and then dividing the list into four sections, with an equal number of employees in each section.
The Lower Quartile is predominately comprised of 70.1% females compared with 29.9% males.
Within the Lower Middle Quartile, the gender profile is more equally distributed. This is comprised of 56.5% females and 43.5% males.
Similarly, the gender profile within the Upper Middle Quartile is comprised of 56% females and 44% males.
There is a shift in the gender profile within the Upper Quartile as this is comprised of 56.8% males compared with 43.2% females.
The pay quartile figures show the root cause of our gender pay gap – we have a higher proportion of females in our lower pay quartiles (our lower pay grades) and a higher proportion of males in our upper pay quartiles (our higher pay grades). Whilst the Athena Swan Charter aims specifically to address the under representation of females in senior roles (i.e. Upper Quartile), the “outsourcing” of predominantly male operational roles and the types of jobs available contributes to the over-representation of women in the Lower Quartile.
Quartile Comparisons with 2020
- The proportion of female staff within the lower quartile range in 2021 was 3.1% less than the proportion in 2020. The number of female staff within this quartile decreased whereas male staff increased.
- The proportion of female staff within the lower middle quartile range in 2021 was 0.7% greater than the proportion in 2020. The number of female staff within this quartile increased, whereas male staff decreased.
- The proportion of female staff within the upper middle quartile range in 2021 was 9.2% less than the proportion in 2020. The number of female staff within this quartile decreased, whereas male staff increased.
- The proportion of female staff within the upper quartile range in 2021 was 9% greater than the proportion in 2020. The number of female staff within this quartile increased, whereas male staff decreased.
Closing the Gap
- We will continue to deliver to our People and Culture and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion strategies.
- Following on from the focus of the working group within the People and Culture, we will work with Trade Union colleagues on a project to consider and address Equal and Gender pay.
- We have included a focus on Gender Pay as part of the University’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Steering Group which is chaired by the Pro Vice-Chancellor for Academic Quality and Student Experience.
- We are addressing gender equality through our membership of the Athena Swan Charter, our HR Excellence in Research action plan and by encouraging participation in the Aurora leadership programme.
Staff Equality Monitoring
All staff are encouraged to maintain their personal equal opportunities data, by viewing/amending such on the CoreHR Portal.