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Staff equality, diversity and inclusion report 2019 Promotion gap by gender

The ‘academic promotions success gap (APSG)’ by gender measures the difference between the proportion of successful applicants for promotion who were men and successful applicants who were women.

There is no legal obligation for the University of St Andrews to publish information on the APSG by gender. Publishing this report provides the opportunity for the University to map trends in its own promotions success gap to identify what works to close identified gaps.

There is currently no centralised source of benchmarking data for academic promotions in the higher education sector. However, several institutions publish their promotions data as part of their equality monitoring. As a means of comparison, we have looked at the rates for other Scottish universities where outcomes are available; there are no identifiable patterns in the gender ASPG at these institutions.

There is no centralised source for benchmarking data for academic promotions by gender. However, Advance HE (2019) reports data with respect to contract level and gender. Advance HE uses Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) and XpertHR to denote contract levels. The point of comparison between the ‘heads of institutions’ and ‘XpertHR level M’, which pertains to assistant professional or administrative staff, has been adopted from the Advance HE staff statistical report (2019). Advance HE summarise that as the seniority of contract levels increase, the percentage of staff who are women decreases. For example, in the academic year 2017-2018, whilst 25.9% of heads of institutions were women, women represented 68.7% of assistant professional or administrative staff (XpertHR level M). Conversely, 74.1% of heads of institutions were men, whilst men represented 31.3% of assistant professional or administrative staff (XpertHR level M).


Higher education sector staff by contract level and gender

Pie charts showing that as the seniority of contract levels increases, the percentage of staff who are women decreases.
Pie charts showing that as the seniority of contract levels increases, the percentage of staff who are women decreases.
*The point of comparison between the ‘heads of institutions’ and ‘XpertHR level M’, which pertains to assistant professional or administrative staff, has been adopted from the Advance HE staff statistical report (2019).

Findings

As in UK higher education generally, analysis of the staff gender distribution by grade at St Andrews indicates that, bar grade two, women are generally overrepresented in the lower grades (grades 1 to 5) and underrepresented in the higher grades (grades 6 to 9). Conversely, men are overrepresented in grades 6 to 9 and underrepresented in the lower grades (except for grade 2).

At the University of St Andrews, the gender APSG has fluctuated over the past five years. For the past four years the gap has been in favour of staff who are women. Of the four years, the gap was highest in the 2018-2019 round where 79% of women applicants were promoted, compared with only 63% of men.

St Andrews promotions success gap by gender

A bar graph depicting the St Andrews academic promotions success gap by gender.
A bar graph depicting the St Andrews academic promotions success gap by gender.
  • In the academic year 2014-2015, 55% of applicants who were men were successfully promoted, whereas 38% of applicants who were women were successful. This is an academic promotions success gap of 17% in favour of men.
  • In the academic year 2015-2016, 79% of applicants who were men were successfully promoted and 82% of applicants who were women were successfully promoted. This is an academic promotions success gap of -3% in favour of women.
  • In the academic year 2016-2017, 69% of applicants who were men were successfully promoted, compared to 83% of women. This is a -14% promotions gap in favour women.
  • In the academic year 2017-2018, 67% of applicants who were men were successfully promoted, as compared to 73% of women, this yields an academic promotion gap of -6% in favour of women.
  • In the academic year 2018-2019, 63% of applicants who were men were successfully promoted, as compared to 79% of women, this is an academic promotions success gap of -16%, in favour of women.
  • The bar graph shows that for the last four years women have been more likely than men, to be promoted at St Andrews.