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UCEA comment on Government Gender Pay Gap figures for sector

A UCEA spokesperson said:

“The new Government statutory gender pay gap figures reported by 129 HE institutions across the UK show a median gap based on mean hourly pay of 15% and a median gap based on median hourly pay of 16%. The latest figures for the gender pay gap in the economy as a whole stands at 13.5%*. There are of course variations across HE institutions but these are to be expected given the differences in workforce composition. It is not helpful when commentators describe the pay gaps as ‘women earning less than men’ as we know that HE institutions use job evaluation to ensure equal pay for work of equal value and regularly undertake equal pay reviews to identify and remedy any such issues.  

Earlier analysis of data from the Office for National Statistics on the gender pay gap in HE has shown the marked narrowing of the gap. The downward trajectory, a reflection of HE institutions’ achievements thus far in addressing their gender pay gaps, is often overlooked.  All HE institutions have been supportive of UCEA’s past and ongoing joint work with the sector trade unions to develop a better understanding of practice and trends relating to gender pay gap issues, to explain the differences between equal pay auditing and gender pay gap action planning and to explore effective interventions. There is of course more work to be done to continue addressing the multiple causes and find solutions to ensure that women can progress their careers and move into senior levels in their workplaces.” 

*for the 10078 employers who published their GPG to date, on 5 April 2018


For further information: Please contact Andy Fryer, Head of Communications and Membership ( or Marc Whittaker, Communications and Events Manager ( Call 020 7383 2444.