Cambridge University– shocking gender pay gap figures

Figures recently revealed showed shocking results, with women still battling to achieve equal pay at Cambridge University. Women in the top earnings bracket at the university make up just 13%. Of the 123 top earners (over £140,000) only 17 were women.

Despite the university being an equal opportunity employer, women are still decidedly at the lower end of the pay scale there.

A study showed that as of May 2017, just 13 out of 31 Masters of Cambridge University colleges are women. Even more astounding is the fact that Dr Pippa Rogerson is the first female master of Gonville and Caius!

When questioned about the pay gap, a spokeswoman for the university replied that the ‘overall gender pay gap continues to fall every year.’

The University of Cambridge insists that it is committed to the principles of ‘equal pay for work of equal value.’ They regard freedom from discrimination and the recognition of staff as the greatest asset.

The university publishes figures annually about equal pay data which they have analysed. They also publish a biennial ‘equal pay review.’ The review continues to show that the pay gap narrows each year.

Cambridge University has made a commitment to taking action in reducing these figures even further. The University’s Equality and Diversity Strategy has taken on the task of addressing the issue. Additionally, they will do their own research and publish data, which is in line with the Government mandatory gender pay regulations. The report will be published before March 2018.

What makes the figures surprising is the fact that the university was awarded the SWAN (Silver Athena) award in 2014. They received the award for their commitment to addressing gender inequality issues in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine.

Daniel Zeichner, MP for Cambridge said that although the results were shocking, he was not really surprised to hear them. This is something that the university needs to address. He went on to say that it is not only a problem at the university, but endemic. Transparency is needed across the rest of the city, where more than likely the same issue arose.

Mr Zeichner called for greater transparency in the private sector so that the full scale of inequality could be seen in Cambridge. Inequality should be shown, wherever it is, and more must be done to counter it. It would be beneficial for private institutions to volunteer their figures. Mr Zeichner said that he felt these figures would show the situation to be worse in some places than expected.

Classics professor at Newnham College, Professor Mary Beard, said that all institutions should be working on this issue. It is high time that they take this matter to task.

Ms Beard said that while she was not very close to the ‘powers that be’ in the university, it is something she knows they will take seriously, and this will lead to progress in the equality discrimination problem.

The shocking pay gap figures at Cambridge University came to light just a few weeks after an announcement was, made about women at the BBC only making up one third of the highest earners.


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