Cambridge University was slammed for double standards today after it emerged female employees are paid a fifth less than male staff – for doing the same jobs.
The pay gap between the sexes was revealed by a university review into pay equality, which found female academic staff earn an average of £8,675 less per year than men.
Figures showed the discrepancies become more pronounced higher up the pay grade.
In total 958 women are paid a wage which is grade eight or higher in contrast to 1,870 men.
Of the University’s 611 employees in the top wage bracket – grade 12 – only 101 are women.
While 11.3 per cent of men earn at the highest level, only 2.3 per cent of women fall into this category.
Despite efforts to iron out the inequalities the gap between the top male earners and top female earners at the university has risen from nine per cent to 18.7 per cent.
The discrepancies, revealed in The Equal Pay Review 2012, have been put down to ‘additional payments’ more men receive as part of their research work.
However, critics slammed the university for undervaluing the contribution from its female staff.
Susy Langsdale, Women’s Officer at Cambridge University Students’ Union, said: “Whilst Cambridge University has seen a drop in the pay gap from the 24% of 2007/8 to this academic year when it lies at 21.9%, it is worrying that female students are still being educated in an environment where female staff are undervalued and disadvantaged.
“This has knock on effects for female students’ academic confidence and so must continue to decline if female staff and students are to feel as valued and respected as their male counterparts.”
The average salary of a male employee at the university stands at £39,698, while a women earned average of £31,023 – a gap of 21.9%.
The review findings show that ‘over the last five years the University’s pay gap has fallen slowly by an average of 0.5% each year’, from a high of 24 per cent difference in 2007.
Since the first Equal Pay Review in 2010, the University has been implementing a series of ‘actions’ to ensure that the payment system can be perceived as ‘fair and equitable’.
This involves ‘a CV mentoring scheme’ to aid and support women seeking promotion to Senior Academic positions and ‘guidance for institutions’ to encourage the increased employment of women.