London South Bank University (LSBU) has pledged to close its ethnicity pay gap by 2025.
Despite narrowing by 3.4% since 2017, the gap in 2019 still stood at a sector average of circa 12%.
The vow to do away with the gap altogether forms part of LSBU’s response to yesterday’s [November 24] claim from Universities UK that higher education “perpetuates institutional racism”.
“As one of the most diverse UK universities we are committed to tackling racial inequalities with a range of key measures embedded in our new strategy and in our access and participation plan,” said LSBU vice-chancellor, Professor David Phoenix.
“LSBU have set strong targets to close awarding and pay gaps. We will be making a Race Equality Charter submission to improve the representation and progression of our staff and are encouraging open conversations about race with our staff and students.”
By publishing ahead of any government legislation, we demonstrate our commitment to having open and honest conversations about race and ethnicity – Marcelle Moncrieffe-Johnson, LSBU group chief people officer
As highlighted in a report published last month by the Office for National Statistics, the ethnicity pay gap is a complex issue, subject to a number of variations according to demographics and geography.
For example, the gap is larger for workers aged 30 and over than those aged 16 to 29, while there are distinct regional variations; the gap is largest in London (23.8%) and smallest in Wales (1.4%).
Although LSBU is not alone in revealing its ethnicity pay gap data, it remains far from standard practice.
“By publishing ahead of any government legislation, we demonstrate our commitment to having open and honest conversations about race and ethnicity at LSBU and beyond, as well as beginning to embed action to close the gap,” said Marcelle Moncrieffe-Johnson, LSBU group chief people officer.
“While we are pleased our ethnicity pay gap has shrunk by 3% since 2017, we acknowledge that we need to do more to address barriers that BAME staff face in reaching senior level positions in our institution.
“LSBU is working tirelessly to break down barriers to deliver equality for all. We won’t rest until the ethnicity pay gap at LSBU is closed and have set a clear target to achieve that by 2025.”