Gender Pay Gap 2022

Addressing the gender pay gap at the Cancer Research UK Scotland Institute

In this report you will find:

  • A summary of our gender pay gap
  • A summary of the challenges, which contribute to our gender pay gap
  • Our commitments and actions to narrowing our gender pay gap

What is the gender pay gap at the CRUK Scotland Institute?

To determine the gender pay gap, the Government requires companies to measure the average earnings of all male and female employees, regardless of role and working hours, and show the percentage difference between the two. Table 1 shows that compared to 2021, the mean hourly pay gap between females and males increased by 1.2 percentage points and the median hourly pay gap increased by 2.16 percentage points in 2022.

Table 1  Pay Gender from April 2020 to April 2022*

  Female Male Apr 2022 Apr 2021 Apr 2020
Mean (£/hour) 16.87 19.05  11.44%  10.24% 13.20%
Median (£/hour) 16.71 19.04  12.24%  10.08% 11.10%

 *The figures shown here do not include Group Leaders who are employed by the University of Glasgow and who will feature in their Gender Pay Data.

Gender pay gap vs equal pay

Equal pay has been a legal requirement in the UK for nearly 50 years; the gender pay gap is not the same as this. At the Institute, we ensure our people are paid equally for equivalent work, subject to experience and individual contribution, and regardless of gender.

What is behind our gender pay gap?

In 2022, our gender pay gap increased slightly with the mean difference between female and male salaries increasing 1 percentage point and the median increasing 2.16 percentage points. To understand this increase, it is important to reflect on our recruitment activities over that period. In the past year, we have recruited an equal split of males and females. However, the majority of newly appointed females (59% of all females appointed during this period) were recruited into lower-level positions in quartiles 1 and 2. The majority of newly appointed males were recruited into more senior positions in quartiles 3 and 4 (59% of all males appointed during this period). We continue to work to improve our gender pay gap for staff already employed by us, with the number of females in quartiles 3 and 4 increasing each year. In 2022, the %age of females in Quartiles 3 and 4 increased by 18% and 4% respectively.

In addition, we continue to take a deep dive into our grades to review any discrepancies in pay between males and females and make adjustments to female salaries accordingly. In 2022, 58% of all promotions were women and 76% of advancements in grades (salary increases above our cost-of-living increase) were also women.

It is important to note that our senior faculty e.g. Group Leaders, are not reflected in our gender pay gap analysis. This is because they are employed on hybrid contracts and are technically employed by the University of Glasgow. However, the CRUK Scotland Institute determines their pay and grading, and we think it is important to highlight our pay gender ratios with them included. You will find these in Table 2 below.

Table 2 All staff pay gender April 2022

Pay Gender April 22
All staff, including Group Leaders on hybrid contracts



Mean (£/hour) 17.60 22.05 20.16%
Median (£/hour) 17.20 19.52 11.88%

In 2022, our workforce was 40% male and 60% female. When we rank the pay of our staff into 4 quartiles, we can see that there is a majority of females in the first 3 quartiles. Whilst it is encouraging to see more women in the upper middle quartile, the majority of our newly recruited female staff have been recruited to the lower and lower middle quartiles (70% and 67% respectively of all staff recruited within these quartiles). Compared to 2021, the number of females in the upper middle quartile has increased by 18 percentage points and the upper quartile by 4 percentage points. This is a result of career progression and promotion of women already employed at the Institute, with 58% of all promotions and 76% of all advancements in grade awarded to women in 2022.

Figure 1 Gender Split by Quartile

 GenderPay2022 LQGenderPay2022 LMQGenderPay2022 UMQGenderPay2022 UQ


Table 3 Comparison of Quartiles 2020 to 2022

  M-2020 F-2020 M-2021 F-2021 M-2022 F-2022
Lower Quartile 28% 72% 34% 66% 30% 70%
Lower Middle Quartile 42% 58% 37% 63% 33% 67%
Upper Middle Quartile 48% 52% 48% 52% 45% 55%
Upper Quartile 61% 39% 59% 41% 54% 46%

What are we doing to close our gender pay gap?

The CRUK Scotland Institute is committed to reducing its gender pay gap through actions identified in our gender pay gap action plan, which is regularly reviewed by our Board of Directors.

Understanding the issues

The CRUK Scotland Institute operates in a sector that relies heavily on highly skilled scientific researchers and those wishing to train in this area. In the UK, the number of women now working as Science Professionals is 51.5% (WISE Campaign Report June 2022).

We have previously noted that of those women who start out in a scientific research career as a Postdoc, many subsequently fail to transition into an independent Principal Investigator (PI) position. Between 2020 and 2022, two thirds of our newly appointed postdocs were female and whilst this is encouraging, we recognise that we need to translate this higher percentage of female postdocs pursuing a scientific research career into more senior positions such as Group Leader. We have introduced search committees for senior research positions such as Group Leader and Chair appointments in order to spread our net wider when recruiting to include more women and people with other protected characteristics and more recently, we had a 60% appointment rate of women to Junior Faculty positions.

In recent years, an increasing number of female postdocs at the Institute have taken maternity leave and we have been able to support their return to work through extension of their temporary contracts and cover for their project during their maternity leave. This has provided them with more time to develop their scientific track record and potentially compete for a PI position.

Review of areas for improvement from 2021

We will conduct another detailed review of our grades to identify where any pay gender issues exist and take what financial measures we can to address these.

  • In 2022, 58% of all promotions were of women and 76% of advancements in grades (salary increases above our cost-of-living increase) were also of women.

We will continue to breakdown attitudes to flexible working patterns for more senior scientific researchers.

  • We continue to offer flexible working and hybrid working arrangements, with a small increase in the number of senior staff working more flexibly or in hybrid working arrangements.

We will continue to review our senior level recruitment practices and aim for 50% female applicant shortlists.

  • In 2022, we advertised for Junior Faculty positions. The results of this campaign are shown below.
  Application Stage Shortlisting Stage Offer/Acceptance Stage
Male 75% 55% 40%
Female 25% 45% 60%

We will report more widely with respect to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion by collating the necessary data, identifying gaps and initiating an action plan to ensure equity in our recruitment, retention and development practices. We believe this will be part of a cultural shift at this Institute, which will encompass bridging our gender pay gap.

  • We have reported on the results of our 2021 EDI survey and are currently holding focus groups to involve staff in our EDI plan for the future.
  • We now capture EDI data during recruitment, and this has led to better compliance in the provision of data to allow us to identify gaps, benchmark and make improvements.
  • We now have established and fully trained EDI advocates with a remit to raise awareness, promote best practice, and support and advise staff and students across the Institute.

In summary

It is encouraging that the percentage of women in the upper quartile has risen in 2022 by 4% points, though there is still more to do in terms of female appointments at this level. As we do every year, we will also be reviewing salaries at all levels in 2023 to ensure equity by job and grade.

Improving equity is the right thing to do. It is a fundamental aspect of encouraging equal opportunities for all. Through increased diversity we will be better able to conduct innovative and world-leading cancer research in support of Cancer Research UK's ambition of 3 in 4 people surviving their cancer by 2034.