The public university faces the challenge of reducing gender pay gap, a problem that means that men charge, on average, a 10.9% more than women, according to a report presented this Friday by the Ministry of Universities, the National Agency for Quality Assessment and Accreditation (ANECA) and the Conference of Rectors of Spanish Universities (CRUE).
From these three institutions they explain that the wage difference is configured, essentially, through the different salary supplements that you charge teaching and research staff (PDI), in which the average value of the gap amounts to 16.9%.
According to the CRUE delegate for equality policies, the also rector of the University of Huelva, Mª Antonia Peña, the report, entitled “Gender salary gap in Spanish Public Universities”, allows us to see “with the forcefulness of the data” how the wage gap “It was not an intuition, but a reality that was there and that had to be diagnosed”.
This study, in the words of the Director of the Cabinet of the Ministry of Universities, Marta Cruells, is “a first step” to build a salary gap registry in which, for now, 20 universities have participated (38.5% of the total) , which includes 59,345 teachers (55% of the PDI of public universities).
“They will be able add in the coming months the set of public and private universities who want to be in this registry and it will allow to be able to do an analysis over the years to see if the gap increases or decreases, to see how it behaves. Also, to know if the measures that we are beginning to implement work or not “, Cruells has advanced.
Inequality is mainly explained by complements
In this study, the global wage gap is defined as the difference between the annual and average gross salaries of men and women expressed in percentages, with payroll reference for the year 2020 and regardless of the type of day and duration of the contract.
In this, complements have a great weight, which are the way in which Research merits and participation in scientific projects are rewarded, training or management, and that end up being the mechanism through which wage discrimination materializes; they generate more scientific production and they dedicate more hours to teaching.
“The supplements constitute the most important proportion of the salary and explain 91% of the variability of the total salary differences between men and women,” said the professor and researcher at the University of Coruña, Matilde Massó during a presentation in which has explained that men receive more supplements because scientific production is greater.
In this sense, he has remarked that supplements not only have a remunerative effect, but also point to how indirect wage discrimination is configured and claims it has to do with “the difficulties women have to accumulate teaching and research merits that are evaluable ”.
Men, they have explained, have greater access to the income of this type of supplements, probably due to having a lower workload at home, and therefore more availability to get involved in research groups; but also because the access to these scientific projects is facilitated from more stable positions and with better working conditions.
“In presenting the report, the researchers highlighted the fact that the bulk of the salary gap between men and women in universities occurs in salary supplements, being 16.9%. pic.twitter.com/jmmVjngOFx“
– Ministry of Universities (@UniversidadGob) December 3, 2021
The gap in the case of specific type complements It is 19.4%, which is associated with the professional level because there is a greater presence of men in higher and more consolidated categories; in three and five years there are gaps of 14%, while in six-year terms the figure rises to 25.9%.
The latter is significant because six-year terms are the tool for promote to more stable, higher and higher paying categories, since they can only be requested by career civil servants or, in universities with an agreement with ANECA, professors hired with PhDs (including interns). However, in this case there is an “over-representation of men in higher categories” and “unequal access to the reward system for merits”.
On the other hand, the specific gap of supplements is significant specifically in the age group that goes 30-39 years, where it is around 10% and mainly affects women who are in the early stages of consolidation of the career. It also coincides, the experts explain, with “the age of first maternity.”
The also professor and researcher at the Universidade da Coruña Montserrat Golías points out, on the other hand, that the gap is considerable in the case of associate and associate professors, despite the fact that it does not reach 10%, since they are an already “precarious figure “where wages are very low.
The biggest gap, in the case of health sciences
In the case of the base salary, the distribution of the gap, in general, is symmetrical, except for the categories of assistant (8%), doctor’s assistant (4.7%) and associate (4.5%). However, in the case of plugins, the categories with higher salary differences They are professor (6.%), doctor’s assistant (7.6%) and associate (9.7%).
On the other hand, the study indicates that, although there is a gap in the set of branches of knowledge, this is more pronounced in the case of the Health Sciences, “a highly feminized branch, where the gap is greater than 25%”.
There is also a gap in the two types of working day, reaching 21.3% in the case of supplements for people who work part-time.
In the analysis made by the different experts, it is also emphasized that there are more men than women as the level in the academic career increases:
“Women steeply decline in the occupation of staff positions teacher and researcher, from the category of doctor’s assistant to that of professor ”, says the report, which also points out that Spain has a“ mature ”staff in public universities. 29.8% of the teaching staff are between 50 and 59 years old, and 25.8% are between 40 and 49 years old.
Inequality beyond wages
Throughout the presentation it has also been highlighted how inequality at the university level goes beyond salaries and, in this sense, a series of objectives have been proposed that have to do, among other issues, with improving co-responsibility regarding care, reducing “masculinization and feminization” of certain careers and promote women as principal investigators.
Regarding the provisions of the Ministry of Universities in matters of equality, Cruell has alluded to the new requirement regulated by royal decree by which the universities will be obliged to make a record of the salary gap, as well as the measures to correct the inequalities that They are contemplated in the preliminary draft of the university law.
“Universities have the role of being social referents in values, in behavior, in ethical criteria and, especially, in the very important issue of eradicating inequality between men and women, “Peña stressed.