Equalities, the gender pay gap and professorial banding

Professor Clare Bradley, branch committee member with an equalities focus, writes, including advice for professors applying for professorial banding.

The next round of professorial banding has been launched with significant changes to the process. The form requires that all core criteria be met and enhances the role of the Deans, who contrary to good practice, are already involved in two or more stages of the process. Once again, changes have been made by HR without consultation with the union and to the detriment of staff at the College.

The equalities subcommittee of UCU-RHUL was set up in 2016 to support the work of the UCU equalities officer in highlighting and tackling the challenges faced by staff with protected characteristics. The difficulties facing all staff were becoming more pronounced at the College and this affected women, BME, LGBTQ and disabled staff even more than others.

Royal Holloway has a worsening record for the gender pay gap. In the most recent league tables published in the Times Higher Education (THE), Royal Holloway was the fifth worst university in the country for the gender pay gap for all staff.

At the last Principal’s Open Meeting on the 4th June (available via RePlay to those with RHUL Moodle access), Professor Laura Spence proposed a working group be set up on the gender pay gap. After the meeting, I wrote to Laura that Jeff Frank, the UCU equalities officer, and I met with the Principal, Paul Layzell, and Senior Vice Principal, Katie Normington, back in March at their request. HR was not present at the meeting. We made a number of concrete proposals on promotions and professorial banding, outlined below. The Principal never got back to us on our proposals, and he referred my question on the 4th June, asking what changes had been made before launching the latest round of professorial banding, to Gill Hemus, the Director of HR, who replied only that they had made some changes.

They have made changes, but not the ones we proposed!

Continue reading “Equalities, the gender pay gap and professorial banding”