This fourth Research Insight examines public pay gap statements from 122 English higher education institutions (HEIs) to ascertain the most commonly cited reasons for the gender pay gap in higher education (HE). It also explores whether these explanations vary according to an institution’s size, mission group and participation in Athena SWAN.
Findings from this analysis show that the overwhelming majority of HEIs believed that the over-representation of males on senior contract levels, compared with female staff, to be one of the key factors influencing their gender pay differentials.
Further analysis reveals that specific groups of HEIs were more likely to report particular explanations for their gender pay gaps than others. For instance, large HEIs were significantly more likely to cite vertical occupational segregation as an explanation compared to small HEIs.