Gender pay gap at Wigan college highlighted on International Women's Day

The gender pay gap among staff at a Wigan college has been highlighted on International Women’s Day.
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A Twitter “bot” has been set up to share the gender pay gaps of businesses tweeting about the initiative today.

Among the organisations named was Wigan and Leigh College, with a tweet stating: “In this organisation, women's median hourly pay is 21% lower than men's.”

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This was in response to a tweet from the college, featuring vice-principal Louise Brown, to mark International Women’s Day.

The tweet said: “Join us in celebrating International Women’s Day!

“Vice Principal Louise Brown is showing her support to #BreakTheBias. Today we commemorate the achievements of women throughout history and aim to create a gender equal world. Together we can forge women’s equality. #IWD2022”

The Government’s gender pay gap service shows women working at the college earned 79p for every £1 that men earned when comparing median hourly pay for 2020/21.

Wigan and Leigh CollegeWigan and Leigh College
Wigan and Leigh College
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A report by the college shows the median gender pay gap was 21.01 per cent, up from 20.75 per cent the year before.

While there was no difference in the median bonus pay, just 1.18 per cent of women received a bonus in 2020, compared to 8.05 per cent of men.

The workforce was 62 per cent female and 38 per cent male, said to “reflect that of a typical FE college”.

Analysis of the gender pay gap by the college found there was a high proportion of part-time, term-time roles, where hourly rates tended to be lower, and the majority of them were filled by women.

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Steps reported to have been taken include “transparent, structured pay scales that are not gender specific”, flexible working policies, shared parental leave and support for women returning from maternity leave.

A college spokesman said: “The college supports and fully implements equal pay for equal work and actively promotes the role of women in our workforce.

“The college’s mean gender pay gap measure is seven per cent compared to a national average in education of 18 per cent. The median measure of 21 per cent is in our case largely driven by the number of part-time fractional contract types that we have in college. We offer a range of fractional contracts of employment due to business need, but in our experience it also actively encourages a more diverse workforce and removes barriers to employment for those who cannot commit to full-time work only.

“Despite that we are committed to reducing the main reporting measure (the mean measure) of seven per cent to a lower level and produce an annual action plan to that end. This is published annually on our website. In a college where the senior leadership is 67 per cent female, the wider management team is 55 per cent female and the governing board is 81 per cent female, the promotion of the role of women amongst our student body and within our workforce is taken very seriously.”

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