Gender Pay Gap or Not at our Faculty?

In August 2016 the report of the LNVH Financial Reward of Men and Women in Science was published (see LNVH report). At universities women only work 1 hour less a week as compared to men. Nevertheless they receive on average a lower salary as compared to male colleagues of the same age with the same job level. At the assistant professor level no deviation between genders is seen. At the associate professor level slight deviations are seen. Among professors this difference is a shocking 438 euro per month and many reasons can be underlying this difference.

We discusses the issue several times during different RISE meetings and RISE therefore encouraged everybody to discuss their pay in relation to the Gender Pay Gap at yearly Performance & Development interviews.

The Faculty of Science has also taken the report very seriously and has had an additional in depth analysis done at our Faculty and taken several measures for the future. Please find below the official results and outcome of the analysis at our Faculty.


Official announcement of the results of the Pay Gap analysis at the Faculty of Science


Analysis of salary differences male / female UL FWN

From: Faculty Board



In June 2017 a report was published by Prof. dr. Dr Belle Derks on the financial reward of male and female scientists at Leiden University. Derks states that the pay gap at the Faculty of Sciences is relatively large. This pay gap can be found in particular in the job category Professor 2.

The Faculty Board has had an additional analysis carried out to get a insight in the results of the Belle Derks report. The raw data from 2016 used as input for the Derks study was used for the additional analysis.


The following questions were addressed:

  • Are the same salary differences found as in the Derks report?
  • What are the differences between function (levels) UD, UHD, and professor?
  • What are possible explanations for the salary difference?


The following variables have been included in the analysis:

  • Age (in 2016)
  • Sex
  • Position (assistant professor, assistant professor, professor)
  • Function level (1 or 2)
  • Salary scale (directly related to job level)
  • Step in salary scale
  • Gross salary in full-time employment (to be calculated from salary scale and step)
  • Scope of the appointment in FTE
  • Total amount of allowances received



  1. Are the same salary differences found as in the Derks report?

Apart from minor differences, the same salary differences were found that are described in the Derks report. Not all differences are statistically significant, but in that case there is a strong trend.

  1. What are the differences between function (levels)?

The pay gap can be seen most clearly in the positions of associate professor and professor. There, the difference between individuals is strikingly large, both among men and among women. A difference in salary can also be observed among assistant professors, but that difference is much smaller. Analyses at the professor level are difficult given the low number of women in that position.

  1. What are possible explanations for the salary difference?

Since all employees in principle go up one step each year in terms of salary, it is a logical explanation that many women are promoted at a later age and are therefore in a lower step than their male colleagues of the same age.


Points for attention for the Faculty board and Scientific Directors:

  • Do men and women receive a salary increase just as often in addition to the periodic increase (for example as a result of a special performance)?
  • Is it decisive when the career path is followed internally or that the employee is recruited externally? A switch from employer is an excellent opportunity for good salary negotiation. For example, a brief inventory showed that only 25% of female professors were recruited externally, compared to 43% of male professors.
  • Is the salary always negotiated in the same way with men and women?


Follow-up approach:

  • All individual cases that deviated from the average group were examined. This did not show a disadvantage for women who were rated lower. Therefore, no correction has been made for those cases.
  • From now on Human Resources will always advice to the Faculty Board on the salary scale classification in case of promotions to associate professors and professors. Specific consideration is given to the previously completed salary steps. It may be advised to correct this.
  • The analysis on the Belle Derks report has ensured that awareness has again been raised for equal pay between men and women. The Faculty Boards will include this as a fixed topic of discussion during the annual fleet review interviews with the Scientific Directors of all institutes.


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