Gender pay gap report 2018

Diversity is at the core of the University’s strategy, and that means addressing the challenges we face as a society to promote women’s equal participation in all areas of the University, including senior leadership, to address the causes of inequality of opportunity, and to close the gender pay gap.

Last year we published detailed information on the gender pay gap, in line with UK Government legislation from which Scottish universities are exempt. This was a clear statement of intent: that we will confront inequalities wherever they exist and wish to be as transparent as we can about the progress we are making.

Progress will take time, and gender pay gap figures fluctuate, but we are committed to producing permanent and positive change. To this end, we have appointed Professor Ruth Woodfield as the University’s first Assistant Vice-Principal for Diversity to help lead this work. She will work as part of a senior team who are dedicated to closing the pay gap and addressing other identified inequalities. Later this year, we will publish a plan to enable our community of academics and professional services staff to work together and help deliver change.

It is our ambition over the next five years to work strategically to remove the gender pay gap and make St Andrews a beacon of fairness and inclusivity with development and reward structures to match.

Sally Mapstone
Principal and Vice-Chancellor


This is the second report on the gender pay gap at the University of St Andrews, utilising a framework provided by the UK Government.

The ‘Gender Pay Gap' is a measure of the difference between the average hourly pay of men and women across the whole organisation. It is not a measure of unequal pay, which is the difference in pay between men and women doing the same job and is against the law, as set out in the Equality Act 2010.

The University of St Andrews has published information on the gender pay gap by salary band since 2013, in line with the 2012 Scottish Specific Duties under the 2010 Equalities Act, as part of the biennial Equality Mainstreaming Reports. The next report to be published in line with these duties is in April 2019.

The regulations introduced in 2017 by the UK Government do not apply to employers in Scotland or Wales, but the University took the decision to produce a gender pay analysis to allow direct and meaningful comparison with other organisations, including almost 200 universities. By openly participating in this submission, it provides the opportunity for the University to map trends in its own gender pay and those of others.

The information in this report provides the mean and median gender pay gaps for the organisation as a whole and broken down by grade. Figures have been calculated using the technical guidance set out by the UK Government Equalities Office and are not directly comparable with the previously published figures. Historically, the University published gender pay gap data by grade, and used a methodology that looked at basic annual salary, as opposed to hourly rates of pay required by the UK Government guidelines.

Download full report

Gender Pay Gap Report 2018 (PDF)

Previous years reports


The University’s gender pay gap figures as at 31 March 2018 are as follows:

Mean gender pay gap


Icon of male gender

1,728 staff

£20.64 per hour


Icon of female gender

1,863 staff

£15.99 per hour


The 'mean', hourly rate is calculated by adding all of the hourly rates together and dividing by the number of individuals in the data set.

The pay gap is the average difference between the mean hourly pay rate of men and women.

Median gender pay gap


Icon of male gender

1,728 staff

£17.78 per hour


Icon of female gender

1,863 staff

£14.05 per hour


The ‘median’ hourly rate is calculated by arranging the hourly rates of all individuals in the data set in numerical order to identify the middle (or median) hourly rate.

50% of individuals will earn more than this hourly rate and 50% will earn less.

The median gender pay gap is the difference between the mid-point hourly pay rate of men and women.

Proportion of women in each pay quartile

  • Lower quartile: 64% female, 36% male
  • Lower middle quartile: 57% female, 43% male
  • Upper middle quartile: 51% female, 49% male
  • Upper quartile: 35% female, 65% male

Percentage of each pay quartile that are men and women graph. Lower quartile, women: 64%, men: 36%. Lower middle quartile, women: 57%, men: 43%. Upper middle quartile, women: 51%, men: 49%. Upper quartile, women: 35%, men: 65%.

Quartile pay bands are calculated by dividing the overall staff population into four equal segments from lowest to highest hourly pay.

This figure shows the percentage of men and women in each quartile.

Bonus payments

The University has no contractual bonus arrangements.

What the figures tell us

The University has undertaken an analysis by contract type and grade to provide a more granular overview of the data. These figures are shown in Appendix 1.

The figures identify a mean gender pay gap of 22.6% (as compared to 23.3% as at 31 March 2017) and median gender pay gap of 21.0% (as compared to 18.9% as at 31 March 2017). The mean average pay gap for men and women is getting smaller. Conversely, the median pay gap has increased.

These figures compare with an average mean gender pay gap of 19.6% and median gender pay gap of 14.9% for English Russell Group universities in 2019 (UCEA). According to the October 2018 ONS Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) figures, the median gender pay gap for the UK economy as a whole fell from 18.4% in 2017 to 17.9% in 2018.

The pay gaps identified derive, in part, from a disproportionately small number of women in more senior University roles. The majority (64%) of staff in the lower pay quartile are women, while only 35% of staff in the upper quartile are women. The middle quartiles have a more equal gender distribution. There has been no significant movement in the quartile figures over the past 12-month period, with men still dominating the highest paid quartile (65%).

We will work over the next year to understand better why these patterns persist.

Actions to address the gender pay gap

The University continues to strengthen its activities to address gender imbalance and eliminate the gender pay gap. A commitment to ensuring progress in this area is laid out in the University’s Strategy 2018 – 2023, and its enabling strategies are being developed to support this.

In March 2019, the University’s first Assistant Vice-Principal for Diversity was appointed. This senior level role is a visible and high-profile demonstration of the University’s determination to place equality, diversity and inclusion at the heart of the St Andrews experience.

Gender pay is openly and regularly discussed within the University, and a working group has been established with the local Trade Unions to build a greater understanding of the drivers behind the pay gap and identify further actions to address it. The Principal has declared her commitment to the core values and tenets of inclusivity and fairness, and as part of this, notified all staff and students of the publication of the Gender Pay Gap Report, and sought comments on this.

The following actions are being undertaken:

  • Recruitment and promotion procedures have been revised to: encourage applications from women and other underrepresented groups; disallow single sex shortlists for advertised academic posts without a pause in the process and Principal’s Office discussion; require mandatory unconscious bias and diversity training for recruitment and promotion board members
  • In September 2018 a new Gender Pay Gap Working Group was established to support and enhance the University’s ongoing activities in tackling the gender pay gap and related issues. A gender-mixed membership consist of the Vice-Principal for Governance; Assistant Vice-Principal for Diversity; Director of Human Resources; Head of E&D; Trades Union representatives from UCU, Unison and Unite; and one academic and one professional services staff representative. In addition to the analysis of data, the group examines external guidance for good practice, such as the EHRC ‘Closing the Gender Pay Gap’ publication (December 2018), as part of a review of evidence-based actions for removing the gender pay gap, within HE as well as more widely.
  • A commitment to improving our understanding of other pay gaps, and to understand the impact of intersectionality when addressing the gender pay gap.
  • Continued engagement with Athena SWAN; the University’s Bronze institutional award was renewed in May 2018; 53% (42% in previous report) of our academic Schools have achieved an Athena SWAN award and those remaining are on target to submit by 2019.
  • The introduction of Professorial pay banding and a more structured salary review for senior staff.
  • A review of family friendly policies is under way, with the implementation of core meeting hours across all schools to allow flexible start and finish times to support employees with caring responsibilities.
  • A Carers Support Network has been established to provide a forum for discussion and engagement and to support the University’s engagement with Carer Positive.
  • The Elizabeth Garret mentoring programme commenced in January 2018 to support women in, or aspiring to, academic leadership roles. To date, 49 women are participating as mentees; 45 as mentors.
  • A Gender, Diversity and Inclusion Research Fund has been established and is currently supporting 14 projects to generate further evidence to support good practice.
  • The University is ring-fencing funds to incentivise new research projects that challenge us to think about a range of factors within our culture and practices that may play a role in producing the current pay gap. These include: recruitment policies and practices; promotion support and processes; senior role accessibility; flexible and part-time working. We are interested in understanding the impact of policy frameworks and process elements of these key areas, including staff experience of navigating through them.
  • Continued support for the Leadership Foundation in Higher Education Aurora Programme. Since 2014, 72 women have participated in this programme.

These actions are the starting point for addressing gender pay differentials within the University. The University, through its Strategic Plan and through annual reporting is committed to making progress rapid, meaningful, measurable and visible.