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Gender Pay Gap Report (as at 31 March 2022)


  • ‘Gender Pay Gap’ (GPG) is not the same as ‘Equal pay’.  The latter refers to the difference between men and women’s pay for the same job, and is illegal; whereas the gender pay gap relates to the difference calculated between average earnings, irrespective of their roles in any given sector, and is a way of measuring gender equality in respect of equal access to, and take up of, all types and levels of roles within an organisation.  
  • All calculations have been made as at 31 March 2022, in line with Government requirements for Public Sector bodies.  
  • Lancaster & Morecambe College does not have a bonus pay scheme for any staff, so reporting requirements for bonuses are not applicable.
  • The mean calculation shows the difference between the mean average hourly rate of pay that male and female employees receive.  Mean averages (division of total sum of all values by number of values) are useful because they place the same value on every number they use, giving a good overall indication of the gender pay gap; however, very large or small pay rates can ‘dominate’ and distort the answer. 
  • The median calculation shows the difference between the median hourly rate of pay that male and female full-pay relevant employees receive.  Median averages (middle point in a list of all values from smallest to largest) are useful to indicate what the ‘typical’ situation is i.e. in the middle of an organisation, and are not distorted by very large or small pay rates or bonuses.  However, this means that not all gender pay gap issues will be picked
  • Using these two different types of average is helpful to give a more balanced overview of an employer’s gender pay gap.
  • Quartiles: comparing the two results in each quartile will indicate the distribution of male and female employees in the quartile. Comparing results between the quartiles will indicate the distribution of male and female employees across the organisation.

MEAN AVERAGE            LMC Mean Gender Pay Gap is:            11.6%

MEDIAN AVERAGE        LMC Median Gender Pay Gap is:        15.2%

Gender Mean and Median Pay Gap graph


  Male Female
Lower Quartile 22% 78%
Lower Middle Quartile 34%  66%
Upper Middle Quartile 32% 68%
Upper Quartile 46%


Gender pay gap quartiles chart
Quartiles (female data provided) chart

Quartile data is part of the reporting requirement; it also demonstrates one reason for an increasing GPG at LMC.  Rising numbers of female staff in the lower quartile, and lower numbers of female staff in the upper quartile, however small the differences, have a disproportionate effect on the GPG, in particular because we have twice as many female staff as male.

CAUSAL ANALYSIS: what has contributed to the increases?

Analysis of the Mean GPG (after a spike in 2021, this has dropped again, although not to the 2020 level)

  •  A change to the gender and pay profile of the senior management team between March 2020 and March 2021 contributed to the overall mean increase in 2021. This profile remained the same in March 2022.
  • At the other end of the pay scale, in March 2022, there was a higher number of female apprentices, than male apprentices being paid on the statutory apprentice wage (lower than NLW).
  • Other differences in mean GPG are likely to be a combination of the contributory factors outlined in the Median GPG trend below.

Analysis of the 3-year Median GPG trend

  • In previous years, this report has detailed the impact of the Shortage Skills Allowance (SSA) paid to teaching staff in certain shortage skills areas, meaning that some teaching staff without management responsibility earned more than their counterparts in other areas.  Primarily because our shortage areas are almost all in Construction and Engineering, the majority (though not all) of those in receipt of the SSA are male, which impacts both the mean and median average in the GPG calculation. 
  • There is a positive impact arising from partial implementation of elements of the Pay Review early in the year.  One staff group for whom the pay review was implemented prior to March 2022 included a high proportion of female staff.  This partly contributed to the dip in female representation within the lower middle quartile and its slight increase in the upper middle quartile. 
  • The number of individuals paid in the month of March, and therefore forming part of the relevant data set, has tended to be lower in recent years, albeit a slight increase in 2022.  Since 2019, total numbers are closer to the minimum number of 250, above which GPG reporting is mandatory. Smaller numbers can tend to distort percentages. 
  • It is helpful to consider the distribution of female and male staff across the organisation, and the year on year fluctuations within this distribution.  With the College’s relatively small number of staff, and twice the number of females to males, the median GPG seems particularly sensitive to variation. 


While some specific explanations have been identified for the LMC Gender Pay Gap, there are broader trends in play across the whole staff profile, which are common to our sector.

Comparison with data published by other NW colleges suggests that the gender of the College Principal / senior staff, alongside the extent to which there is a predominance of female staff in the lower/upper quartiles (including the fact that some lower paid and often predominantly female roles such as cleaning and catering are contracted out by some colleges and therefore not part of their pay gap calculation), can have an impact on these extremely sensitive mean and median measures.

We have long held and reported that since one of the main factors impacting the LMC gender pay gap appears to be the higher proportion of female staff in the lower quartiles (a trend likely to continue), it is the case that the start of a reversal of the gender pay gap is likely to coincide with the ability to start to reverse the longer-term chronic depression of wages within the organisation.  

November 2022