Gender Pay Gap 2018


As one of Cancer Research UK’s core-funded institutes we carry out a programme of world-class science directed at understanding key aspects of cancer cell behaviour, and try to translate these discoveries into new therapies and diagnostic/prognostic tools to help cancer patients.

Creating a diverse working culture where everyone can be themselves and reach their full potential as individuals is hugely important to us at the CRUK Beatson Institute. Not only does it enable us to conduct cutting edge cancer research, but it encourages new ideas and creativity, which will help us reach our full potential as an organisation.

In this report you will find:

• A summary of our gender pay gap

• A summary of our challenges, which contribute to our pay gap

• Our commitments and actions to narrowing our gender pay gap


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. Compared to 2017, the mean hourly pay gap between females and males decreased by 4.6 percentage points and the median hourly pay gap decreased by 1.69 percentage points in 2018.

GPG table 2018

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


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


Our workforce is evenly split with 50% male and female staff. When we rank the pay of our staff into 4 quartiles we can see that there is a majority of females in the lower and lower middle quartiles. However, we still have disproportionately more men than women in the upper middle and upper quartiles. This is the reason why we have a gender pay gap and we are actively tackling this. There have been some improvements since we reported in 2017, most significantly a rise of 9% females in the Upper Middle Quartile range and a slight increase in the Upper Quartile of 1%. There is also a lower proportion of females in the lower quartile and lower middle quartile compared to 2017, a reduction of 4% and 3%, respectively.

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GPG fig 18


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

Understanding the Issues
The CRUK Beatson Institute operates in a sector that relies heavily on highly skilled scientific researchers and those wishing to train in this area. In 2012, it was estimated that across Europe only 17% of the workforce in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects were female (Mind the gap project: 2012), although more recent reports suggest that this has increased significantly to 40% (Eurostat News: Women in Science and Technology: 2018).

However, many of those women who start out on a scientific research career as a Postdoc, subsequently fail to transition into an independent Principal Investigator (PI) position and either leave science completely or do not continue to pursue a research career. This is due in part to the uncertain nature of funding and career development within the field, but also because historically general opinion was that the role of a PI could not be successfully managed alongside raising a family and perhaps working flexibly.

Taking Action

This is the second year that the Institute has reported its gender diversity and we can see some improvements in our gender pay gap data with a higher percentage of females in the upper middle and upper quartiles. However, we continue to review our processes and attitudes to the issue of diversity and inclusion in general (not just with respect to gender) and in 2019 the following actions, which will be reviewed by our Board of Directors, will be continued or implemented:    

  • We will continue to review all salaries to identify and address any anomalies in pay between men and women;
  • We will continue to offer improved opportunities for flexible working amongst our scientific researchers;
  • We will continue to offer improved maternity pay funding, including postdoc extensions, and use of ‘keep in touch’ days when researchers are on maternity leave so that they maintain pace with their research project;
  • We propose to introduce shared parental pay (up to 6 weeks at present) at full pay for partners wishing to take shared parental leave;
  • We will encourage women to apply for roles at Postdoctoral and Junior Group Leader level through improved recruitment advertising and direct scientific contacts. In 2018, 25% of applicants for Junior Group Leader positions were female and we interviewed the same percentage for these positions;
  • We will train all managers in unconscious bias with the aim of improving attitudes to women in science and to improve our processes.

In Summary
Increasing diversity is the right thing to do.  It means everyone is entitled to equal opportunities and it also means that through increased diversity we are better able to conduct world-leading cancer research projects so that we can realise Cancer Research UK’s ambition of 3 in 4 people surviving their cancer by 2034.

A statement about this report from our Director, Professor Owen Sansom can be found here.

*Source Mind the Gap Project; ** Athena Swan Award aims to advance gender equality in academia and academic institutions and under representation of women across academic disciplines, professional and support functions


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