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Posted 15.04.19

Plymouth College of Art reduces gender pay gap

By Kat Peberdy

BA (Hons) Illustration graduate Jake Williams illustrates efforts to close the gender pay gap in Iceland by 2022.

At Plymouth College of Art, we are committed to social and gender equality which means we take gender pay gap reporting and analysis very seriously and are happy to report that we have achieved an overall reduction in our gender pay gap from 2017.

Our single figure mean gender pay gap for 2018 is 9.4%, and our single figure median gender pay gap is 7.2%. These figures are substantially lower than the education sector averages of mean 16.0% and median 20.1%, as well as lower than a number of local academic institutions; including the University of Plymouth, Falmouth University and the University of Exeter.

We have reduced our mean gender pay gap by 1.9% and our median gender pay gap by 1.2% since 2017, but we know we've still got more to do to.

Since the last review in March 2018, we have made multiple changes in an effort to reduce the gender pay gap and improve the quality of life for our staff, including:

  • rolling out a single pay scheme for all staff (both academic and non-academic) to standardise pay rates for salaried and hourly paid staff
  • adopting university industry-standard HERA job analysis for job roles, to ensure we pay our staff fairly across the organisation for all types of roles regardless of their gender
  • taking into account the UCEAs percentage cost of living increase, which had a greater impact on our lower paid staff, to maintain our commitment to providing a living wage

Placards from Tate Exchange Propositions for Change 2019.

Our institution pays no bonuses, so we make no return for mean and median bonus pay gap. We have a larger proportion of female staff across all departments at the college, although the gap is smaller at higher rates of pay. Overall, our staff population is 37.5% male and 62.5% female, with a total of 377 staff. Our gender pay gap is partly influenced by having more female than male staff, and due to the lowest 25% income quartile has the largest percentage of female staff, with the most common job roles being cleaners and student ambassadors.

As an institution we made the decision not to use an agency for our cleaning needs, ensuring we can provide the best terms and conditions to our cleaning staff, of whom approximately 70% are female. Our student ambassadors mirror our student population - we attract more female students than male, and we continue to expect the majority of our student ambassadors to be female.

While unreported for purposes of the gender pay gap statistics, we are proud that our Board of Governors is predominantly female, which is very rare in education institutions.

We are happy to have reduced our gender pay gap since 2017, however, we recognise that there are further actions that must be taken. Our senior leadership team has made a firm commitment to close our gender pay gap and we aim for further reductions year on year.

Detailed information is available in the current Gender Pay Report.

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