Gender Pay Gap Report


On 6 April 2017 Gender pay gap reporting regulations came into effect, requiring employers in private and voluntary-sector organisations with 250 or more employees to publish data on their gender pay gaps.


The gender pay gap differs from equal pay: equal pay observes the pay differences between men and women who carry out the same jobs, similar jobs or work of equal value in the same employment and it is unlawful to pay people so employed unequally because of gender. The gender pay gap, by contrast, shows the differences in the average pay between all men and women across the entire organisation, regardless of the level/grade at which they work; the gender pay gap therefore represents the distribution of men and women in different roles at different pay grades.

The University reports for a fifth year and our latest report covers 738 employees, 443 women (60%) and 295 men (40%) employed during the period ending 5 April 2021.

Summary of Data

The Gender Pay Gap figures are at the snapshot date of the 5 April 2021 and it shows the difference between the average (both the mean and the median) earnings of men and women.  This is expressed as a percentage of men’s earnings over women’s earnings.

Gender Pay Gap – snapshot date 5 April 2021

MaleFemaleDifference (male - female)/males as a percentage

The data is split into the following four quartiles:

  • Lower Quartile
  • Lower Middle Quartile
  • Upper Middle Quartile
  • Top Quartile

Gender distribution for pay quartiles

Quartiles (Gross Hourly Rate of Pay)MaleFemale
£0 to £11.4523%77%
£11.46 to £20.2330%70%
£20.24 to £46.1250%50%
£46.13 to £95.0057%43%

The above illustrates the gender distribution across the four quartiles. Our lower quartile represents the operational roles including Domestic Services, some Administration role, part-time and casual workers, which attract mostly female candidtates.

No bonus payments were paid during the reporting period.

Comparison to previous years

Gender pay gap

Mean gender pay gapFemale earnings were 21% lowerFemale earnings were 26% lowerFemale earnings were 26% lowerFemale earnings were 26% lowerFemale earnings were 30% lower
Median gender pay gapFemale earnings were 37% lowerFemale earnings were 41% lowerFemale earnings were 40% lowerFemale earnings were 35% lowerFemale earnings were 41% lower

The proportion of males and females in each pay quartile

Lower QuartileM 45%

F 55%

M 28%

F 72%

M 26%

F 74%

M 27%

F 73%

M 23%

F 77%

Lower Middle QuartileM 30%

F 70%

M 32%

F 68%

M 28%

F 72%

M 26%

F 74%

M 30%

F 70%

Upper Middle QuartileM 52%

F 48%

M 43%

F 57%

M 45%

F 55%

M 48%

F 52%

M 50%

F 50%

Top QuartileM 56%

F 44%

M 57%

F 43%

M 55%

F 45%

M 52%

F 48%

M 57%

F 43%

Analysis of Data

The Lower Quartile

  • The Lower Quartile has 141 female employees, of which 125 (88%) are part-time staff and 45 male employees, of which 34 (75%) are part-time staff.
  • Many of the employees within this quartile are part-time Casual staff with flexible hours and this type of role tends to attract caregivers within families and a role typically fulfilled by females. However, part-time roles are distributed across all pay quartiles.
  • Casual employees are employed on a zero hour contract where the University is under no obligation to offer work and the Casual employee is under no obligation to accept any offer of work.
  • The Lower Quartiles consists of 90 females and 32 males who are Casual staff.

The Lower Middle Quartile

  • The Lower Middle Quartile has 130 female employees, of which 45 (35%) are part time staff and 55 male employees, of which 15 (27%) are part time staff.
  • Roles in the Lower Middle Quartile are predominately Administrative and Secretarial roles, which are typically fulfilled by females.

The Upper Middle Quartile

  • The Upper Middle Quartile has 91 female employees, of which 39 (43%) are part time staff and 93 male employees, of which 43 (46%) are part time staff.
  • Roles in the Upper Middle Quartile are predominately Academic and Middle Management roles.

The Top Quartile

  • The Top quartile has 81 female employees, of which 78 (96%) are part time staff and 102 male employees, of which 96 (94%) are part time staff.
  • Roles in the Top Quartile are predominately Senior Management, Heads of Department, Deans, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor and Visiting Lecturers.

Visiting Lecturers

  • Visiting Lecturers who are contracted for specific tasks on termly but annual contracts, have a typically higher rate of pay due to their specialist expertise are distorting the Top Quartile. Their higher-pay and part-time nature distort the Top Quartile in terms of part-time status.
  • There are 72 female Visiting Lecturers in the Top Quartile.
  • There are 87 male Visiting Lecturers in the Top Quartile

Comparison of Data

  • Comparing the 2020 and 2021 data we can see that the gap is closing in the Lower Middle Quartile.
  • We have achieved a 50/50% split in the Uper Middle Quartile.
  • The gap has grown in the Lower Quartile and the Top Quartile.
  • The proportion of females remains higher than males in the two lower quartiles.
  • The Mean gender pay gap has increased by 4 percentage points.
  • The Median gender pay gap has increased by 6 percentage points.

Key findings

  • The University employs more female staff than male staff and this may distort our Gender Pay Gap data and it is the large number of female staff in roles which are graded within the two lowest pay quartiles that is causing the distortion we see in our Gender Pay Gap Report;
  • Female staff occupy 43% of the highest paid roles and 77% of the lowest paid roles;
  • Male staff occupy 57% of the highest paid roles and 23% of the lowest paid roles;
  • There are more male staff in senior roles than female staff;
  • There are more male than female Visiting Lecturers employed in the Top Quartile;
  • With the exception of Visiting Lecturers in the Top Quartile, part-time roles tend to be less senior roles and are more prevalent in lower paid roles and;
  • Given some job types seem to attract females, the greatest challenge for the University remains the distribution of male and female staff across different levels and roles.

Mitigating Factors

  • COVID-19 pandemic – The UK was in lock down from the 23rd March 2020 and the Prime Minister mandated people to stay at home. The University moved teaching online, in the main, apart from the Medical School. This greatly affected the University’s revenue, and as a result the University had to reduce both pay and non-pay costs, implementing both a recruitment freeze and a Change Management Plan (CMP), which led to roles not being replaced where there was natural turnover and a programme of redundancies, which resulted in:
    • Fourteen compulsory redundancies made, of which six were male and eight were female staff.
    • Fourteen applications for voluntary severance accepted of which two were male and twelve were female staff.

Steps Taken to Address the Gap

Introduction of online Performance Development Reviews

Implementation of an online Performance Development Review policy and process to assist in the development of staff and their career progression, alongside performance improvement and engagement.

Introduction of a new Academic Promotions process and application form

Introduction of an academic promotions process and application form to ensure that the process is fair, consistent and transparent and that all academic staff have a clearer understanding of the process.


The University reviewed and implemented new ways to improve recruitment processes to ensure a more diverse pool of applicants.  These included:

  • Review of Recruitment Policy
  • Wider external promotion of job opportunities to include better use of social media, LinkedIn, Facebook, Indeed etc.
  • Diverse interview panels are required for all posts
  • Gender-neutral language used in job descriptions and job adverts.

Pay Grade Transparency

Pay scales made available to all University staff via the University’s internal intranet.  This allows staff easy access to view the structure of each pay grade.

Regardless of gender, all staff have the facility to progress through the grading structure.  The University acknowledges that some roles have the ability to be awarded outside of the grade scales, regardless of gender.

Vacant roles are advertised with a pay scale included so that all applicants (internal and external) can know what to reasonably expect when applying for a role.

Flexible working

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the University having to work more flexibly as teaching was moved online, in the main, apart from the Medical School, and staff were required to work remotely from home if they were able to do so as the Prime Minister mandated people to stay at home.

The move to flexible working during the pandemic has shown that the University is able to support a flexible working culture for staff at all levels.  As our figures show, we have a high percentage of women who currently work part-time at the University and a more flexible working culture may mean that women could progress into more senior roles, earning higher salaries.

Also because of the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns in the UK, staff were given the option to carry forward additional holiday on top of their usual maximum of 5 days.  This is to provide staff equal opportunity to manage their time given potential impact on their usual routine.

Recommendations for 2021

Visiting Lecturer Contract and Admin Process

Overhaul the Visiting Lecturer contract and admin process to include agreeing rates and reviewing contractual arrangements to ensure consistency across all Schools within the University.

This work was paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recommendations for this year

Performance Development Reviews

Performance Development Reviews were paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic and because a number of staff were furloughed. With the lifting of the COVID-19 restrictions and the return of furloughed staff to work, Performance Development Reviews can now be resumed to assist in the development of staff and their career progression, alongside performance improvement and engagement.

We will implement a learning and development plan as a result of the skills gaps identified from the performance reviews, with a strong focus on management and leadership development, encouraging our staff members to reach their careers goals by investing in their own development and engaging in continuous learning.

Academic Promotions Process

The Academic Promotions Process was paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the University's financial position did not allow for this.

The University is now in a position to allow this process to be resumed.


Following the completion of the Change Management Plan and with the new structure now in place, there is no longer a recruitment freeze and recruitment activity can now resume.

With the lifting of the recruitment freeze, the University will continue to review and implement new ways to improve recruitment to ensure a more diverse pool of applicants.

Flexible Working

The University has had to adapt a more flexible way of working.

A formal Hybrid Working Policy is to be introduced to acknowledge the importance for employees in achieving a work life balance and that flexible working gives employees the ability to manage their personal and working life.

The needs and preferences of individual employees must be balanced with the requirements of individual jobs, team working and maintaining a vibrant University community, where most students come to the University to study and often live, on campus.

Conduct a Staff Survey

A staff survey is to be conducted. This is an important opportunity to capture staff feedback. This will allow the University to establish what our staff think the University is doing well and areas that they think we can improve upon.

Job Evaluation

A formal job evaluation process is to be introduced to objectively measure the different elements of a job against the same criteria using a consistent set of factors. This measurement will then allow all of the jobs to be equitably placed in a rank order according to their size, thereby producing a hierarchy of jobs that provides a basis for a fair pay and grading structure. The job evaluation tool that the University will use is HERA. Using HERA can help ensure:

  • A fair, equitable and transparent process for comparing the relative size of all in-scope jobs within the University.
  • A clear demonstration of the principle of equal pay for work of equal value.
  • The promotion of fairness and equality more generally.

Reintroduce the HR User Group

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, meetings and actions from the HR User Group were paused.

Reintroduce the HR User Group to provide strategic advice on the University’s HR related policies and procedures, act as staff representatives for staff forums and consultation purposes, assist the HR Department with training of new policies and procedures.


A gender pay gap remains evident and during 2021 the pay gap has grown, this is
mainly due to the University taking a proactive approach to be in the best financial position to manage through a very challenging time. The University had to take drastic measures to reduce expenditure in both pay and non-pay elements, with steps taken that included a recruitment freeze, and embarking on a CMP, where a higher percentage of women fell into the redundancy / voluntary redundancy bracket than men.

We are aiming to achieve a greater gender balance across all quartiles through focus on our working practices, which include; recruitment, promotions, learning and development and job and pay evaluation and the reintroduction of the HR User Group will assist the University to achieve this.

The University is confident that the gender pay gap does not stem from paying men and women differently for the same or equivalent work.  The gender pay gap is the result of the roles and number in which men and women are employed within the University and the salaries associated with those roles.  The university acknowledges that individuals with comparable roles may fall within different pay grading, due to length of service at the University.

2021 Report

Download the 2021 report.

2020 Report

View our 2020 report.

2019 Report

View our 2019 report.

2018 Report

Download: University of Buckingham Gender Pay Gap Analysis 2018 (PDF, 943kb)