University Pay Gap Report Finds Racial Disparities

The pay gap report has demonstrated that BAME staff are paid less than their white colleagues.

In the 2021 University of York Gender and Ethnicity pay gap report released this March it has been found that on average black women at the University are paid 41.5% less than white men. This means that for every £1 white men are paid, black women are only paid 59p. 

The report also illustrates that staff who identify as BAME are on average paid 14.8% less than those who identify as white, and staff who identify as black are paid on average 29.4% less than their white colleagues. 

The mean gender pay gap has dropped by 1% but still remains at 18.1%. The report attributes the majority of this decrease to the increase in female colleagues at a professorial level. 

The pay gap report has been shared widely on social media by the York Student Solidarity Network and the Anti-Racism Working Group. 

In an Instagram post, the York Student Solidarity Network said the University “should admit that this pay gap is totally unacceptable and commit to monitoring the ethnic pay gap until it is closed”. 

They also demanded “less performative co-option of radical phrases and more action!”. 

In the introduction, Vice-Chancellor Charlie Jeffery affirms that “The University is founded on principles of social justice and combating inequality and… You should hold me and the Executive Board to account in reducing these pay gaps – but if we are to achieve our ambition as a truly diverse, inclusive and equal community, we must all play our part”. 

In a joint statement, the Student Solidarity Network and the Anti-Racism Working Group asked students to “demand a much broader report be conducted at the University of York into institutional racism including the pay gap, attainment gap, representation, knowledge production, career progression, harassment, bullying and hate crimes”. 

In the recent strikes, UCU York has also raised questions surrounding equality at the university, highlighting how staff on casualised contracts in UK universities are vulnerable and treated as “second class academics”.

A University spokesperson said: “As a community, we have an absolute commitment to addressing racial inequality and have chosen to report on our ethnicity pay gap to acknowledge where we need to make progress and hold ourselves accountable for bringing about the changes we need to make.

“While we, of course, pay everyone doing the same role equally, we need to work on equalising representation at all levels.

“This initial data report on our pay gap provides a baseline against which we can and must challenge and measure ourselves.”

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