What is Gender Pay Gap Reporting?


The Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations came into force on 1 October 2016. The regulations require all private and voluntary sector employers with 250 or more employees to publish details of their gender pay gap.


The Gender Pay Gap calculations are based on an equivalent hourly rate for each employee, for the pay period including 5 April 2017. It is expressed as a percentage of men’s average earnings (so a positive % means that men are paid more on average than women).


The gender pay gap is often confused with equal pay. However, it measures something quite different. Whilst Equal Pay reflects whether men and women are paid the same for carrying out work of equal value, as set out in the Equality Act 2010, the Gender Pay Gap paints a picture of the gender balance in respect of earning levels across the organisation, irrespective of roles.


What do we need to report?


The regulations have 3 key reporting requirements that apply to the Students’ Association:

  • >The difference in Median pay between men and women

    (The Median average is calculated by sorting the values into an order from lowest to highest, and then finding the value that is in the middle of that sorted list)


  • >The difference in Mean pay between men and women

    (The Mean average is calculated by adding together all the values and dividing by the number of values)


  • >The gender distribution when employees are placed into four equally sized Quartiles

    (Quartiles are developed by sorting hourly pay for all staff into order from lowest to highest. This ordered list is then split into four equal parts, known as quartiles)



  • >There are similar reporting requirements for bonus pay, which do not apply to the Students’ Association at this time.
  • >Staff who do not identify as either gender are currently omitted from Gender Pay Gap calculations, in accordance with guidance from the Government Equalities Office and ACAS.


In 2017, the UK’s average gender pay gap for all employees (including part-time) was 18.4% for median earnings, and 17.4% for mean earnings. This means that, across the UK, men are paid 18.4% (median) and 17.4% (mean) more than women. The median is the Office for National Statistics’ preferred measure.


The gender make-up of our workforce


As of April 2017, the breakdown between hourly-paid and salaried staff at the Students’ Association was as follows:



The gender distribution of our workforce was as follows:



Our Gender Pay Details

Gender Pay Gap – All Staff vs UK average


*ONS Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings 2017 (including full and part-time employees)


All Staff Gender Split, by Pay Quartile


Interpreting our pay gap

On average, men are paid 8.39% (median) and 10.19% (mean) more than women at the Students’ Association. However, it is worth noting there are demographic factors that significantly influence our numbers.


Our gender pay gap is driven primarily by a gender imbalance in the lower three pay quartiles. 80% of our employees are hourly paid student staff, almost 65% of whom are women, which explains why the numbers of women within the lower two quartiles in particular (the population of which is almost entirely hourly paid) is so high.


That there is such a large ratio of women within the hourly paid group is relatively unsurprising, given that it broadly mirrors the demographic of the student body of the University. On the whole, hourly paid roles are also largely viewed as temporary by their postholders, few of whom have intentions to remain in post much beyond graduation, so progression through the organisation from this group is unlikely in most instances.


The influence of the hourly paid roles on our global gender pay gap indicated that there would be value in conducting an analysis by employment type, as follows:


Salaried Staff

Gender Pay Gap


Salaried Staff Gender Split, by Pay Quartile


Hourly Paid Staff

Gender Pay Gap – Hourly


Further analysis


By separating employment types, we have found that there is a -1.58% median gender gap in our salaried area (meaning that women are, on average, paid marginally more than men in this group).


The mean gender pay gap of 10.78% within our salaried staff, and a high ratio of men in the upper pay quartile, indicates that the highest paid roles in the organisation are populated more frequently by men.


At the time of the snapshot, 75% of the Senior Management Team and 63% of the Head of Department Team were men which, on analysis, has a significant impact on the mean numbers. Organisational changes since the 2017 snapshot was taken mean that the gender balance within the Senior Management Team in particular has shifted.  


In the hourly paid area, the marginal gender gap reflects the fact that there are a large volume of roles in this group paid at very similar rates of pay. However, the mean gap of 2.94% suggests that, in this group, marginally more men than women are in the higher paid roles. This is something we intend to monitor, and take action to resolve where appropriate.


What are we doing to make a difference?


The Trustees and leadership team at Edinburgh University Students’ Association are committed to promoting diversity and eliminating gender inequality wherever it might exist. We welcome gender pay gap reporting as a useful tool that will help to ensure that gender equality and diversity remains at the forefront of the people strategy for all organisations.


Whilst we are pleased to find that our gender pay data suggests there are no areas for immediate concern, and that we are ahead of the UK average, we recognise that we still have work to do. We intend to promote gender diversity across the organisation in the following ways:

  • >Ongoing review of our pay and reward practices, to ensure that we have a fair and transparent method for determining pay.
  • >Ensuring our recruitment and selection practices are robust, and that those responsible for recruitment receive the appropriate training.
  • >Ensuring that opportunities for learning and development are available equally and fairly across the organisation.
  • >Seeking ways to provide more flexible working arrangements and other methods of support within the workplace, in order to enable parents and those with dependents to balance home and working life.

We confirm the data reported is accurate:

Steve Hubbard

Chief Executive

Esther Dominy

Vice President (Welfare)

Chair, People and Culture Subcommittee