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The UAB takes part in the gender pay gap in Spanish public universities¿ report

09 Feb 2022
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The Brecha salarial de género en las universidades públicas españolas (gender pay gap in Spanish public universities) report, in which the UAB has taken part of, shows that the gender pay gap in universities is mainly determined by the supplemental wages, how research merits are rewarded and the involvement in projects or research activities. 


On December 3, the ANECA (National Agency for Quality Assessment and Accreditation of Spain), the Ministry of Universities and CRUE Equality (Conference of Rectors of Spanish Universities) presented the report Brecha salarial de género en las universidades públicas españolas (Gender pay gap in Spanish public universities) in the conference room of the Ministry of Universities in Madrid. The report's coordinator, who was present at the technical committee of the report’s public presentation, was the sociologist Pilar Carrasquer, professor of the Department of Sociology at the Autonomous University of Barcelona and coordinator of the ANECA Equality Unit. The video of the presentation can be watched here

The report aims to find out about the existing pay gap in the university system, its characteristics and causes, in order to find out what measures universities can take to reduce it. Twenty public universities took part in this first study, including the Autonomous University of Barcelona, which made possible a sample made up of data from 50,000 male and female lecturers. Pilar Carrasquer herself, as coordinator of the report, point out the importance of this collaboration, saying that without this joint effort, especially in the laborious process of collecting information, the present result would not have been possible. 

The report has shown that the Global Salary Gap of the Spanish Public University System has an average value of 10.9%. It is important to highlight that supplemental wages are how research merits and participation in projects or research, training and management activities are rewarded. These supplemental wages are the mechanism through which salary discrimination between men and women is shaped in universities. 

There are different types of supplemental wages. The gap in the supplemental wage for participation and leadership of research projects stands out, at 41.4%. It can be deduced that men have greater access to this type of supplemental wage, probably due to a lower reproductive workload at home, and thus more availability to get involved in research groups; but also, because access to these research projects is easier in more stable positions and with better working conditions. In addition, a gap of 25.9% has also been identified in the six-year research periods, which are the scientific productivity supplemental wages, and in the specific supplemental wage associated with each job category, where the gap is at 19.4%. The latter reflects the predominance of men in the categories of professor or equivalent. 

The report also addresses the issue from an age perspective, highlighting how at the beginning of the teaching and research staff career there are virtually no salary differences, whereas as the career progresses, in particular between the ages of 30-39, the gap tends to peak at the age when most people enter the teaching profession. It is important to point out that this also happens to be the age range when women and men tend to start family projects, but it is the former who see their careers and salaries affected by this. The gap in supplemental wages is the most significant in any age group. 

The Ministry of Universities has been taking measures to combat the pay gap to eradicate it from our universities in the upcoming years. Some of these measures include: setting up a salary register for all contracted and civil servant staff to identify and fight the pay gap, or the promotion of scientific projects with a gender perspective, parity in research teams and the growth of women as principal researchers. 

The full report can be found here, on the Ministry of Universities website. 

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