Women's pay shortfall revealed as pound;2,300 a year

16th April 2010 at 01:00
In addition to salary disparities, workforce report reveals low BME representation and reluctance to disclose disabilities

Women in further education earn 10 per cent less on average than men, new figures show.

A man's average full-time annual pay was pound;25,600 in 200708 compared with pound;23,300 for his female colleagues, according to the third Annual Workforce Diversity Profile report from Lifelong Learning UK (LLUK).

Although women comprise nearly 64 per cent of the FE workforce, they are less likely to be working as teachers than men - 49 per cent compared to 59 per cent. Women were more likely to be working part-time (65 per cent) compared to men (47 per cent).

Men were more likely to be managers (7.3 per cent) compared to women (6.6 per cent). And across management, men were twice as likely as women to be in senior roles, at 5.3 per cent and 2.8 per cent, respectively.

LLUK said it was the first year that it had looked at gender and pay, and that a number of factors explained the gap, including differences in the jobs done by men and women.

Min Rodriguez, equality and diversity manager at LLUK, said: "We know that gender equality is critical, not only to the sector but also to the wider workforce."

Sally Dicketts, chair of the Women's Leadership Network, said: "It is my experience that governing bodies find it easier to pay a man more for a job than a woman."

Ms Dicketts called for research to help filter out the effects of part- time working on women's average pay.

The 200708 diversity report also reveals problems with the representation of black and minority ethnic (BME) staff. The figures show that BME staff made up just over 8 per cent of the FE workforce, compared to nearly 21 per cent of the student population.

Just under 2 per cent of BME employees were senior managers compared to 4 per cent of white staff. The report said that all BME groups appeared to be better qualified than their white counterparts.

Staff in FE seemed disinclined to declare a disability, with less than 3 per cent doing so in 200708, although nearly 18 per cent of the general population is disabled. More than a third of all FE staff were aged over 50 compared to the national average of just over 22 per cent.

Overall, the FE workforce grew by just under 35,000 (15 per cent) between 200607 and 200708. Just over half of all staff were in teaching roles, a proportion unchanged over the past three years, while just under 7 per cent were managers, up by 0.8 per cent on 200506.

Nicola Broady, senior employment analyst and adviser for the Association of College, said: "While there is excellent work in this field, and national agreements on guidance with six trade unions on each equality strand, the LLUK profile highlights some distinct challenges."

www.lluk.org.

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