Daniel Zeichner, MP for Cambridge, marked International Women’s Day this year by sending Freedom of Information requests to all colleges regarding their gender pay gaps.

In gathering responses, he found that 12 out of the 31 colleges do not know their own gender pay gaps. These colleges refused to provide data about their gender pay gap, claiming that they did not hold the information, have fewer than 250 employees so are not required by law to report their gender pay gap to the government, and that the identification and compilation of the information requested would exceed the cost limit (£450 -; 18 hours of staff time) of complying with Daniel Zeichner MP’s request, as noted in Regulation 12(1) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Only 12 colleges supplied the information Mr Zeichner requested in full (total mean gender pay gap, academic staff gender pay gap and non-academic staff gender pay gap).

Colleges varied in their gender pay gaps, with an average of 10.5%.

The ‘worst’ offenders have a gender pay gap of nearly 30%, paying men 28.2% (St Edmund’s) and 27.2% (Trinity) more than women. Newnham has a gender pay gap of -25.82% (women are paid more than men), reflecting the college’s admission of women students and therefore its high percentage of female academics.

Mr Zeichner said: “It’s a real shame that not all the colleges have shown the same level of effort to work out and publish their gender pay gaps -; regardless of the 250 employee limit under the government’s laws. Nearly half of Cambridge colleges aren’t making an effort to work out their gender pay gap, which gives them no hope of making sure they are paying people equally.”

“Students invest when they choose their colleges -; the colleges should go above and beyond to commit to equal pay. We need to work harder to combat any gender pay gap, and to do this, we need checks and balances. Unequal pay does not belong in any century, let alone this one, and we need to stamp it out.”

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