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The University Group has published data on its gender pay gap for 2019-2020

The University has published its Gender Pay Gap report for 2019-2020. Since 2019 the overall median pay gap for the University Group as a whole, which includes Cambridge University Press and the Local Examinations Syndicate (part of Cambridge Assessment), has reduced from 11.5% to 11.1% and the mean gender pay gap from 18.4% to 18.3%. The mean gap for the academic University has increased by 0.4 percentage points – from 19.9% in 2019 to 20.3% in 2020 – while the median gap has gone from 13.2% to 11.5%. This slow progress is disappointing and we are committed to understanding and addressing the problem.  

The main cause of the gap at Cambridge continues to be the overrepresentation of men in more senior roles, and the overrepresentation of women in more junior roles. Our current work to address the gap is focused on increasing the number of women in senior roles via a raft of initiatives that fall into three broad categories:  

  • Institutional culture – for example supporting the career development of carers through the Returning Carers Fund; running an Inclusive Leadership Programme (completed by 248 people so far)
  • Pay and progression – for example running career development workshops and coaching schemes for women; developing a new academic promotions framework with more inclusive and flexible criteria to support women’s progression   
  • Recruitment – for example supplying a Diverse Recruitment Framework to support departments to embed best practice for inclusivity at every stage of the recruitment process 

Work in these areas has begun to make a difference, as can be seen in the increasing representation of women in academic roles. The proportion of women professors has risen from 18.6% in 2016 to 23.1% in 2020, and women academics are now more likely than men to be successful when applying for promotion (the average success rate for women is 73.9%, compared to 68.8% for men).  

However, more change is needed, and more quickly. The annual gender pay gap report, along with other internal reporting on pay equality, provides a valuable opportunity for reflecting on our progress. The report has been discussed at the highest levels in the University to consider how progress could be significantly accelerated.  

The Gender Pay Gap report is based on data up to March 2020, so it does not include the period of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are mindful of the possible gender pay implications of the pandemic, which has posed particular challenges for those with caring responsibilities, especially women. We are taking steps to monitor these and address them – for example through the use of COVID impact statements in academic staff promotions.  

The University also voluntarily publishes its ethnicity pay gap as part of the Gender Pay Gap report. While this is low for the sector (3.5%), it has still increased by one percentage point since last year. As with our gender pay gap, this is a matter for serious concern. Many of the initiatives to tackle the gender pay gap are also relevant for the ethnicity pay gap, and the University is also undertaking a number of targeted initiatives to improve race quality through our race equality charter action plan


The University Gender Pay Gap report for 2020 -2021 can be viewed on the University Equality and Diversity site.


25 March 2021