International Women’s Day
This week organisations all around the world will be hosting events and activities to mark International Women’s Day. Here at Loughborough, our women’s staff and student networks have been instrumental in the organisation of some fantastic events, and in curating stories to showcase the accomplishments of some of the women who work and study here.
International Women’s Day is a great opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women all over the globe, but also to raise awareness of the discrimination we still face every day and to focus attention on what needs to change if we’re going to achieve gender parity.
I think it’s absolute right that we showcase the positives, not just on International Women’s Day but year round. But that doesn’t mean we’re shying away from the many hurdles we still need to overcome. Anyone looking at Twitter at the moment, for instance, will notice that the Gender Pay Gap bot is very active again, pointing out organisations’ median gender pay gap data in response to any posts about International Women’s Day activity.
Each year, employers with 250-plus employees are required to publish their figures that show the difference between men and women’s average pay across the organisation – that’s their gender pay gap. As at 31st March 2021, women’s median hourly pay at Loughborough is 31.3% lower than men’s. The data has improved in 2022 and women’s median hourly pay is now 25.4% – the full data set for 2022 will be published shortly. Our data is influenced by several factors, details of which you can see on our website. But I’m not going to make excuses; we have a significant gender pay gap and we need to work hard to address it.
And we are. For instance, our women’s network, Maia, and our TORCH Academy programme have been established to help support female progression and representation at the University, and they’re doing some terrific work. As well as focusing on supporting individual academics, the TORCH Academy is working to change structures, systems, processes and attitudes at the University that previously may have negatively impacted gender equity; and since its establishment in 2020, the Maia Women’s Network has become our fastest growing staff group, with almost 30% of staff now members, collectively championing equity for women.
We know it will take time to get to where we really should be, and to address key issues like the gender pay gap, but we are taking steps forward. So, yes, we’ll be showcasing the many fabulous achievements of our staff and students this International Women’s Day, but it doesn’t mean we’re ignoring the challenges we know we still face.
Professor Charlotte Croffie
Pro Vice-Chancellor for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
Reflections, comments, discussion and opinion on EDI topics from Loughborough University staff and students