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The University of Chester is committed to equality, diversity and inclusion, to ensuring that men and women are paid the same for the same/equivalent work or work of equal value and to reducing the gender pay gap.


This annual report provides information on the Gender Pay Gap (GPG) at the University of Chester as on the snapshot date of 31st March 2019, in line with the requirements of the Equality Act 2010 Gender Pay Gap information) regulations 2017. 

The University of Chester is committed to fostering a culture of inclusivity, dignity and respect. Founded in 1839 as the first purpose-built teacher training college, Chester now offers 420 course combinations across seven Academic Faculties plus one Associate Faculty at Reaseheath College.  Our community is made up of some 19,850 students supported by 858 academic staff and 1,247 professional services staff including hospitality, domestic services, estates, administrative, technical, research and managerial staff.  

Equal Pay and the Gender Pay Gap

Many people still confuse equal pay gaps and gender pay gaps.  While both measurements are concerned with issues of gender pay disparity it is important to understand the difference between the two.  

An equal pay review identifies significant differences in pay between men and women doing work of equal value. The University uses a single job evaluation scheme (HERA) to determine grading structures to ensure parity of pay for the same type of work.

The Gender pay gap measures the difference between the gross hourly earnings of men and women across the work organisation. The mean gender pay gap is the difference between the average hourly pay rate of men and women.  The median gender pay gap is the difference between the mid-point hourly rates of pay of men compared to women. 

Current Gender Pay Gap

Figure 1: Gender Pay Gap results 

The figures above show that the Mean gender pay gap between male hourly pay rates compared to female hourly pay rates has increased by 0.6% from 14.8% (2018) to 15.4% (2019).  The Median gender pay gap between the male hourly rate and female hourly rate has reduced again this year 14.5% (2018) to 13.9% (2019). 

The median pay gap is a good indicator of typical pay in an organisation as it discounts the atypical earners or outliers such as apprenticeships on National Minimum Wage and the most senior salaries.

The percentage of male staff receiving a bonus has decreased from 0.3% (2018) to 0.1% (2019). No female members of staff received performance related pay and so once again the Mean and Median Bonus Pay Gaps remain at 100%.

Gender distribution by quartile

Figure 2: men and women by quartile

The above percentages are obtained by ordering the staff population by hourly pay rate, lowest to highest, dividing them into four equal segments and working out the gender split in each quartile.  The overall workforce profile remains as in 2018 with 62% female and 38% male.  Women are over represented in all quartiles but especially in the lower (Q1 74%), lower middle (Q2 61%) and upper middle (Q3 62%) quartiles. This uneven distribution across the workforce is the main cause of the gender pay gap within the University of Chester. 

Figure 3: Mean and Median pay by quartile

Proportion of Males & Females per Quartile

Lower Quartile

Lower Middle Quartile

Upper Middle Quartile

Upper Quartile

Total Staff

Mean Female Pay

£ 9.86

£ 13.52

£ 18.81

£ 26.94

£ 16.54

Mean Male Pay

£ 9.87

£ 13.89

£ 18.94

£ 29.85

£ 19.55

Mean Pay Gap per Quartile






Median Female  Pay Gap

£ 9.81

£ 13.01

£ 18.01

£ 25.56

£ 15.50

Median Male  Pay Gap

£ 9.81

£ 13.78

£ 18.25

£ 26.32

£ 18.01

Median Pay Gap per Quartile






With the exception of the lower quartile, female staff occupy lower paid roles within each quartile.  In the lower middle quartile women tend to dominate the OS5 and OS6 administrative roles while men dominate higher paid OS7 and OS8 technical roles such as web developer, team leader, and Learning & Information officer.  In the upper quartile women occupy the majority of senior lecturer, accountancy posts and deputy director roles while men occupy the majority of professorial, dean and senior management roles with 48% of those earning above the male median rate of £26.32 compared to 35% women earning more than the female median rate £25.56 per hour. These compositional features contribute significantly to the positive Mean and Median pay gaps in favour of men across three out of four quartiles. 

Higher Education Sector

The median gender pay gap for the Higher Education Sector was 15% compared to 17.9% for the whole economy in the same period (ONS ASHE, 2018). According to Universities & Colleges Employers Association (UCEA Briefing on HR Gender pay gap, April 2019) the higher education sector has an uneven distribution of women across occupations both in horizontal segregation (Figure 4) and vertical segregation (Figure 5). 

The challenge for the University of Chester is to rebalance this segregation by increasing the proportion of men in the lower quartile roles and increasing the proportion of women in the upper quartile roles.  Institutions with lower than average gender pay gaps usually have a different workforce profile with outsourced services providing sessional, casual or hospitality requirements. A similar adjustment to the University of Chester workforce profile would have a significant impact on our Gender Pay Gap by reducing the Median from 13.9% to 3.2% and the Mean from 15.4% to 13.3%.

Figure 4: 4 Roles with Horizontal Segregation


Figure 5: Academic Vertical Segregation

University of Chester Actions

The University recognises that the gender pay gap is due to the over-representation of women in lower-paid roles and the under-representation of women in high paid occupations.  Hence the focus on training and development, identifying and removing any barriers to progression, and educating decision makers on stereotypes and biases that prevent the career development of women to senior roles within the University. 

  • Bronze Athena Swan Charter was achieved in 2018, recognising the University’s commitment to addressing equality for staff and students in Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths and Medicine and Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences, Business and Law in academic, research and professional roles.  The Athena Swan Action plan has 63 initiatives to support women’s entry, retention and progression in these subject areas.
  • Supporting, funding and mentoring a new cohort of female staff on the Aurora Leadership programme.
  • Workshops for academic staff approaching promotion. In 2019 there was 50/50 split between Male and Female staff in Associate Professor roles and a 70/30 spilt between Male and Female staff in Professorial roles.
  • Coaching and Mentoring available to support career development for all staff.
  • Ensure all Chairs of recruitment panels attend Unconscious Bias training.
  • Ensure all new managers complete mandatory training in Recruitment & Selection, Wellbeing in the workplace and Equality & Diversity.
  • University continues to promote conferences and events such as;
    • Institute of Gender studies Talking Bodies Biennial Conference 2019 including hosting a FASONA (the Feminist Activists and Scholars of the North Atlantic) annual meeting. This network was created by scholars and activists from North America, Canada, Iceland, the UK and other European countries. FASONA promotes interdisciplinary, intersectional feminist scholarship, activism and collaboration.
    • Annual Diversity Festival 2019, a two week programme of events, workshops and speakers open to staff, students and the public.  Exploring topics such as Inclusivity in Higher Education, Supporting carers in the Workplace, Making Professor Series, Domestic Violence, Where are Women in science, and Positive Action at Work
    • Forum for Research into Equality and Diversity (FRED) published and promoted its research into the use of Positive Action to improve gender balance in workforces.  Together with Young Women’s Trust they focused on gender stereotypes and support required for apprenticeships especially in sectors suffering skills shortages such as construction and engineering.

Confirmation of the accuracy of the Gender Pay Gap calculations, as at the snapshot date of 31st March 2019, are signed off on behalf of the University of Chester by:

Professor Neville Ford
Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Enhancement)