Gender Pay Gap 2020


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 achieve our full potential as an organisation.

In this report you will find:

  • A summary of our gender pay gap
  • A summary of the 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 2019, the mean hourly pay gap between females and males increased by 3.3% points and the median hourly pay gap increased by 4.0% points in 2020, disappointingly reversing the progress made in 2019.

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 2020


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, regardless of gender.


Our workforce is 45% male and 55% female. 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. The number of females in the lower middle quartile and upper middle quartile rose by 9% points and 6% points respectively in 2019/20, mainly due to the number of females we recruited to these quartiles in this period – 65% female compared to 35% male. The good news is that several new female appointees are early career management positions with development potential. This in part explains why our pay gender mean and median differential increased in 2020. In addition, the percentage of women in the upper quartile reduced slightly by 3% points. This is because we had several senior female staff either leave or transfer (as a result of promotion) to another employer on a hybrid contract* (and therefore not feature in our pay gender figures).

Gender pay gap 2020 quartiles


 Comparison of quartiles over past 3 years – 2018 to 2020:

 Gender pay gap 2020 quartile statistics

*Hybrid contracts are a symbiotic arrangement with the University of Glasgow, whereby well cited senior scientific researchers are employed by the University but under the Terms and Conditions of the CRUK Beatson Institute. This allows the University to benefit from their scientific papers and publications for REF purposes and allows senior scientific researchers access to other sources of external grants and funding.


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 the UK the number of women working in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) occupations has risen by 2% in the past year to 24% of the STEM workforce, that is just over 1 million women working in STEM roles (WISE Annual Report 2019/20).

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 and either leave science completely or do not continue to pursue a research career. One of the main reasons for this is, we believe, the need for more certainty and support when starting a family. In recent years, a small number of female Postdoctoral Researchers at the Institute have taken maternity leave and we have been able to support their return to work through extension of their temporary contracts. This has been well received, however there is more work to be done to encourage more flexible working for Postdoctoral Researchers. There seems to be a reluctance to requesting more flexible or part-time working patterns amongst such staff and we believe that being able to achieve a better work-life balance might encourage female Postdoctoral Scientists to remain in science and as a consequence achieve their potential and more independent research positions.

Taking Action
This is the fourth year that the Institute has reported its gender diversity and we can see that in 2020 pay gender differentials have increased despite our best efforts over the past 3 years to reduce them – the reasons for this are highlighted on Page 2 – What is behind our Gender Pay Gap? Our ability to address these issues in 2020/21 has been limited, due to the COVID-19 epidemic and a cut in our budgets. We did not offer any pay awards in 2020 and we will continue to be limited financially in 2021. In 2020, we did increase our balance of female to male Postdoctoral Researchers, with two thirds of newly appointed Postdocs being female.

Areas for improvement

  • 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.
  • We will continue to breakdown attitudes to flexible working patterns for more senior scientific researchers.
  • We will continue to review our senior level recruitment practices and aim for 50% female applicant shortlists.
  • 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.

In Summary
Increasing diversity 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.



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