DMU and the Gender Pay Gap

“DMU is firmly committed to ensuring equality of opportunity for all its staff and students. It is our ambition to be a sector leader in promoting fairness and inclusion across all protected characteristics, including gender.

“This summary, which outlines the current gender pay gap at De Montfort University (DMU), is a clear indicator that although we have taken strides to address this challenge, we need to do more. DMU is determined that the proactive measures put in place in the last 18 months will lead to a narrowing of the gender pay gap in future years.

“We are not complacent in addressing this challenge. The actions outlined below – including initiatives to encourage more women into senior and leadership positons, the provision of mentoring opportunities as well as policy changes - indicate our strong commitment to doing so.”

Professor Dominic Shellard, Vice-Chancellor, DMU

The gender pay gap

The gender pay gap shows the difference in pay between all men and women in a workforce expressed as a percentage of men’s earnings. It can sometimes be confused with the law on ‘equal pay’. An equal pay analysis looks at whether men and women doing equal work are paid the same i.e. it is a direct comparison between the contractual terms (including pay) of two people of the opposite sex doing equal work. A gender pay review, however, looks at the pay of men and women at all levels of the workforce as a whole. 


For the pay period containing the ‘snapshot’ date of 31 March 2017, DMU has a mean gender pay gap of 15% and a median gender pay gap of 23%.

Typically, women are underrepresented in senior levels and are overrepresented in the lower levels of the organisation. We believe that this is the underlying factor driving our gender pay gap and we are seeking to address this issue and, among other actions, encourage more women into more senior roles.

DMU’s commitment to equality

DMU is fully committed to our equality and diversity charter DMUfreedom and to delivering on the commitments outlined in our Athena Swan action plan. We have already taken a number of proactive measures to close our gender pay gap:

  • We offer a range of flexible working options for our staff to help them balance their work and home life commitments, including caring responsibilities.
  • We positively encourage women to return to work following maternity leave.
  • We recognise that men also want access to flexible working and to be more actively involved in family care responsibilities so our flexible working policies are open to all employees regardless of gender or personal circumstances.
  • We introduced a new Shared Parental Leave policy which allows fathers (or partners) access to the same level of enhanced pay during shared parental leave as a woman taking maternity leave would be entitled to receive.
  • We are currently reviewing our policy on maternity/adoption leave and pay for PhD research students to ensure in particular that female PhD students are effectively supported to complete their PhD.
  • To help address the under-representation of women in more senior academic roles, we have introduced a range of academic career pathways across the different disciplines of teaching and research, from a new early career academic level through to professor.
  • In November 2017 we ran an Aspiring Female Academics Programme designed to help develop internal talent and provide an opportunity for successful female colleagues to share their experiences and for female academics on a career path to be matched with a mentor.
  • We support women to engage in development opportunities to encourage more women into more senior and leadership positions, for example through the Aurora Programme.
  • We have also recently introduced a positive action initiative ‘DMU Futures’ aimed at women, BAME and disabled employees to encourage and support progression for underrepresented and disadvantaged groups.

We recognise that reducing our gender pay gap will take time. However, we are confident that our commitment to change, as demonstrated in these and other measures, will help us see greater gender balance across all levels of our organisation in the near future.

Further information

Why is DMU publishing this information?

De Montfort University (DMU) has over 250 employees and is therefore required to report its gender pay gap in accordance with The Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties and Public Authorities) Regulations 2017 (“the Regulations”). This statement has been produced by reference to the Regulations and associated guidance.

What causes the ‘gender pay gap’?

A gender pay gap can occur for example where men and women are distributed unevenly across the workforce. If an organisation employs more women in lower paid types of work, they are likely to have a larger gender pay gap. Although this could highlight the need to improve equality of opportunity, it does not necessarily mean that there are unequal pay practices within the organisation.

The gender pay gap can be influenced by a range of socio-economic factors. For example, women returning to work following career breaks for childcare reasons into lower paid and often, part time, jobs.

The gender pay gap is also about ensuring greater gender balance across all occupations and at all levels in the workforce. Employers may wish to attract more men into jobs that are traditionally occupied by women and vice versa and ensure that opportunities to work flexibly are available to both men and women on an equal basis and at all levels of the workforce.

What is the ‘bonus pay gap’?

This is similar to the gender pay gap but looks specifically at the amounts paid on average to men and women by way of bonus pay (if any bonus pay has been paid) during the twelve month period.

A negative figure indicates a pay gap in favour of women as per the ONS methodology.

What is DMU’s ‘bonus pay gap’?

DMU’s bonus pay gap figures during the twelve month period preceding the ‘snapshot’ date of 31 March 2017 showed a mean gender bonus gap of 10.1% and a median gender bonus gap of - 67.9%. (A negative figure indicates a pay gap in favour of women). 3.7% of male employees received a bonus, while 1.5% of female employees received a bonus.

Bonuses at DMU are generally only applied to senior staff as discretionary payments linked to individual performance. We have fewer women employed in senior roles where a bonus would normally be payable and therefore fewer women than men who are eligible to receive a bonus.

However, of all those eligible to receive a bonus, proportionately more women than men were awarded a bonus and of those awarded a bonus, generally women tended to be awarded a higher bonus than men. This explains why the university has a median bonus pay gap figure in favour of women.

Pay quartiles

In accordance with the Regulations, we have also divided the total population of the workforce into four quartiles: the lower quartile, lower middle, upper middle and upper quartile pay bands. The percentages of males and females within each quartile are as follows:

DMU pay quartiles
  Male Female
Upper quartile 58% 42%
Upper middle quartile 47% 53% 
Lower middle quartile 45% 55%
Lower quartile 33% 67% 
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