08 March 2017

Essex equality agenda is rewarded with Guardian shortlist

Picture of Professor Aletta Norval

Professor Aletta Norval

The University of Essex’s commitment to gender equality, which in 2016 resulted in a high profile pay rise for women professors, has been shortlisted for a Guardian University Award.

In an announcement today, the Guardian shortlisted Essex in the advancing staff equality category of its annual higher education awards. Winners will be announced at a ceremony on 29 March.

Essex hit the headlines in 2016 when it made a one-off pay rise to its women professors reducing the gender pay gap from 5.49% to 0.07%.

The decision drew widespread media attention, was highlighted by the Universities and Colleges Employers Association as best practice and praised by the Equality Challenge Unit which said Essex was "taking a lead" on this significant issue.

It was part of a suite of initiatives, aimed at making Essex a fairer place to work, which included appointing gender equality champions in its senior team, targeted awareness campaigns, mentoring, career workshops and training to combat unconscious bias.

Speaking about the shortlisting, Professor Aletta Norval, Essex’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education), said: “We are incredibly proud about being recognised by the Guardian for this important work which has demonstrated to our community that we are serious about living according to our values and principles.

“The response to our positive and decisive action has been hugely satisfying and we are pleased to be a reference point in this debate and an inspiration to others”

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