Oxford women profs penalised

June 6, 1997

Most women professors at Oxford earn less than their male counterparts, with some on salaries as low as Pounds 30,000 a year.

The discrepancy between male and female salaries at one of the country's top universities was highlighted this week by a table compiled for The THES, which ranks universities by the proportion of women earning a professorial salary. It reveals that only 8 per cent of the country's professors are women - a slight increase on last year's 7.3 per cent.

Oxford's proportion according to our figures is 6.5 per cent, but the university calculates it at 8 per cent. The difference is accounted for by last year's special promotions exercise which awarded 18 women the title of professor but failed to give them a commensurate salary. As a result, over half Oxford's women professors are on markedly lower salaries than the majority of their 312 male counterparts.

Susan Greenfield, who became Oxford's professor of pharmacology in last year's special exercise, earns just Pounds 30,000 - the lecturer's salary she was on when she was awarded the chair. Official professorial salary scales at Oxford range from Pounds 38,994 to Pounds 56,384. Professor Greenfield said: "I am now faced with 20 years doing the same job with no chance of a salary rise to professorial grade ... is a horrible prospect."

Full story and table, page 19

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