Gender pay gap report 2020 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 in its key enabler, the People Strategy.

In March 2019, the University’s first Assistant Vice Principal (AVP) 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 (EDI) at the heart of the St Andrews experience.

Equality, diversity and inclusion staff appointments

In March 2020, the University appointed a Research Fellow and Project Manager in Equalities to work with the AVP Diversity to implement EDI initiatives across the University. The University also appointed an EDI Project Officer. In addition, the University has appointed two Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Area Leads (one for Arts and Divinity and one for Science) to further the EDI agenda within their respective faculties. These new roles build on the existing EDI staff complement of our Head of EDI, two Awards Advisers and an EDI Assistant.

Athena SWAN

The University has continued to engage with Athena SWAN: the University’s Bronze institutional award was renewed in May 2018; 15 of our Academic Schools have received a Bronze Athena SWAN award and 3 Schools have received Silver. Additionally, the University’s School of Physics and Astronomy continues to hold the Juno Champion Status from the Institute of Physics.

Consultation exercise

In 2019, the University undertook a large consultation exercise to collect the views of 1,000 staff and students through focus groups and anonymised surveys. The dataset was analysed to identify key themes and, where possible, ‘group specific’ trends, including gender. This research underpinned the development of the University’s People Strategy and its Action Plan.

Mentoring and development schemes for women

The Elizabeth Garret mentoring programme, which started in January 2018, continues to support women in, or aspiring to, academic leadership roles. To date, the scheme has supported 71 mentees.

In the academic years 2019-2020 and 2020-2021, the University has sponsored a further 38 members of staff to take part in the Leadership Foundation in Higher Education (LFHE) Aurora programme. This is an external women-only leadership development programme, designed to take positive action to address the under-representation of women in leadership positions in the higher education (HE) sector.

Support for carers

The University continues to hold the Carer Positive Employer Award and has progressed from the ‘Established’ level, to ‘Exemplary’, the highest level. The University launched a Staff Parents and Carers Network in March 2019 to support the working lives of staff who have parental and caring responsibilities. This provides a networking forum to share knowledge and experiences and raises awareness of the needs of working parents and carers through events and initiatives. In the context of Covid-19, in March 2020, a virtual network was launched to support staff working remotely.

Recruitment and promotion

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.

Gender Pay Gap Working Group

Since September 2018, a new Gender Pay Gap Working Group has been working to support and enhance the University’s ongoing activities in tackling the gender pay gap and related issues. A gender-mixed membership includes:

  • Assistant Vice-Principal for Diversity.
  • Director of Human Resources.
  • Head of Equality and Diversity.
  • A representative from Planning.
  • Trades union representatives from UCU, Unison and Unite.
  • Academic and professional services staff representatives.

In addition to analysing 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 higher education as well as more widely.

The group has also commissioned work from the University Planning Office, from HR and the EDI team. This work includes analysing the impact of job titles and advertisements on the gender of applicants and appointees.

The University remains committed to improving our understanding of other pay gaps, and to understand the impact of intersectionality when addressing the gender pay gap. This year, the University will be publishing its ethnicity pay gap for the first time.

The EDI Research Fund continues to support projects to generate further evidence to support good practice; this year, a specific call was made for projects related to the gender pay gap.