Gender Pay Gap Report 2021

Message to staff from Debbie Dyker, Director of People

Dear colleagues,

Under Aberdeen 2040, the University is committed to eliminating pay gaps across all protected characteristics (Commitment 5). As part of those efforts an external specialist carried out an Equal Pay Audit on the full range of protected characteristics. While further updates on the Audit will follow, this message focuses on the gender pay gap. We can share with you now our Gender Pay Gap Report 2021 based on snapshot data captured on 31 March 2021.

You can access our full Report here (scroll down to see report)

Key findings from the data show:

  • 56% of the University’s workforce is female and 44% male

  • Our workforce is diverse, multinational and represents a wide range of occupational groups including cleaning, security, catering, grounds and maintenance, administrative, professional services, technical staff, academic and research roles, senior academic and managerial roles

  • The median gender pay gap, which compares the mid-point salary for males and females, is 19.4% - a slight decrease from 20.2% in 2020. This is the more representative figure and our interim target agreed by the University’s governing body Court is 17% or lower by 2025

  • The mean gap, which compares the difference between total salaries of male and female staff and can be affected by outliers such as one-off higher salaries is 20.2% - a small increase from 19.5% in 2020

  • We do not have any gender pay gaps in our individual grades other than Grade 9/Grade 9 off-scale, where we are focusing some of our actions

  • Over 67% of staff in the lower salary quartile are female while 57% in the upper salary quartile are male and this gender occupational segregation impacts on our gender pay gap

Any pay differential is, of course, disappointing. While measures are underway to address our gender pay gap, the exceptional circumstances of the last two years regrettably have had an impact.

For example, in the earlier stages of the pandemic, we had to take steps to secure the University’s financial sustainability. These included temporarily pausing our promotion, regrading, contribution and senior staff pay policies.  While we reinstated all of these when financial forecasts improved, any awards were made outwith the reporting period for the Gender Pay Gap Report.

Although the pandemic has hindered our progress, we are driving forward a significant body of work in key areas that can influence the gender pay gap

Our recently launched Recruitment and Selection Policy will support our commitment to addressing the gender pay gap in the forthcoming year through the equality, diversity and inclusion measures incorporated within it.  We will also be complementing our commitment to the Advance HE Aurora Women’s Leadership Programme with further internal development opportunities, as well as supporting a cohort of staff to participate in the International Leadership Development Programme this year. 

We will also be taking forward the recommendations of the Equal Pay Audit through the Reward Consultation and Negotiation Group and more information about this will follow in due course.  A commitment to wider equality, diversity and inclusion priorities such as the Athena Swan and Race Equality Charters also provide useful frameworks for addressing barriers to career and pay progression for staff across protected characteristic groups including gender.

I hope this is helpful and provides assurance that we continue to be committed to addressing the gender pay gap within our University.

Best wishes



Debbie Dyker
Director of People