In an unprecedented year in which women’s rights have gathered momentum, captured headlines and public opinion, and called for change, we are joining the International Women’s Day (IWD) Press for Progress campaign.
This week, Thursday March 8, the voices of women and men around the world will be raised in celebration of women.
We are proud to add our voice to the millions and to highlight our ongoing commitment to equality of opportunity.
Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Pamela Gillies CBE FRSE, said: “Our University is committed to championing our female and male staff and students.
“International Women’s Day is a call for gender parity and, as the University for the Common Good, we are committed to equal pay, eliminating discrimination, and promoting equality of opportunity. It is important that we listen and lead in creating a more equal society for all.
“We have embraced transparency in our gender pay gap, which despite being one of the smallest in the sector, we are determined to reduce year-on-year and to lend our support to the global campaign to press for progress.”
To mark this momentous day, we are raising awareness of the University’s commitment to equal pay and the strides we have made to reduce the gender pay gap – as set out in our statement on equal pay.
As reported in our Public Sector Equality Duty Report 2017, the pay gap between men and women has continued to reduce and, as of April 1, it had further decreased to 14.5% in comparison to 20% for other Scottish Higher Education Institutions and our gender pay gap for female academic staff has reduced from 8.2% in April 2015 to 4.2% in July 2017.
We support the development of female leaders in our university community, recognised by our Athena SWAN Bronze Award. Through our Athena SWAN action plan, we are committed to equality and diversity and to support the advancement and promotion of the careers of women. To date, the University has supported more than 70 female members of staff to participate in the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education’s Aurora Programme, with a further 40+ senior female members of staff taking part in mentoring positions to help colleagues in their development.
Women professors at the University are at a record high of more than 40%, positioning GCU as a sector leader in the number of women appointed to senior academic positions; this is set against a backdrop of just 23% of female professors in the UK, according to a study by the Equality Challenge Unit’s ‘Equality in Higher Education 2017’. And finally, the appointment of Dr Annie Lennox OBE as our first female Chancellor also marks an important step in the University’s evolution.