Higher Education: Equal Pay

Department for Education written question – answered on 8th August 2019.

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Photo of Stephen Morgan Stephen Morgan Shadow Minister for Local Government (Communities)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the gender pay gap in higher education (a) at Portsmouth University and (b) in the UK.

Photo of Jo Johnson Jo Johnson Minister of State (Department for Education) (Universities and Science) (Joint with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), The Minister of State, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Jointly with the Department for Education)

Holding answer received on 25 July 2019

Since April 2017, employers with more than 250 staff are required by law to annually report gender pay gap information. All of the gender pay gap data published by organisations, including the University of Portsmouth, is available on the government’s reporting website: https://gender-pay-gap.service.gov.uk/.

It is crucial that employers use their gender pay gap data to identify the barriers to women’s recruitment and progression and take action to break down those barriers. The government has published advice for employers on how to diagnose their gaps and develop an action plan, alongside evidence-based guidance on practical actions they can take to close the gap.

The higher education (HE) sector has been proactive in taking action to address the gender pay gap and the government is supportive of this work. We have seen considerable progress in the number of women in leadership positions in HE, for example, the increase in female vice-chancellors. This is largely down to the dedicated efforts by the sector to improve the progression of women, through programmes such as the Aurora development programme and the world-renowned Athena Swan Charter. I also look forward to the findings of the Independent Review of the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers, led by Professor Julia Buckingham, which we expect to see published in September.

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