Gender Pay Gap Report 2023 - Header
Gender Pay Gap Report 2023

Gender Pay Gap Report 2023


As a university driven by ‘People First’ principles, DCU is deeply committed to promoting Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI).  Our goal is to foster a cohesive culture throughout our extensive staff community—one that is diverse, transparent, and inclusive. We value all perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences, promoting an inclusive environment at every level and within every system and process. We expect the highest standards from our faculty, staff, and students alike.

As an employer with over 1,800 full-time equivalent employees, we are pleased to share our second Gender Pay Gap (GPG) report in compliance with the Gender Pay Gap Information Act 2021. The Gender Pay Gap is defined under this legislation as the difference between the average hourly wage of men and women across a workforce, expressed as a percentage of men's pay. It does not inherently indicate discrimination, bias, pay equity issues, or imbalances in our university's pay structures and policies. Instead, it serves as a measure of gender representation within our organization.

Our overall gender pay gap for 2023 stands at 8.18%, reflecting progress compared to last year's figure of 10.39%. Notably, it remains below the 2022 gender pay gap in Ireland, which was 9.6%, according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

As a public sector employer, we adhere to salary scales and hourly rates of pay for specific roles and grades. Our commitment to salary parity remains resolute—we compensate all employees based on qualifications and experience, irrespective of gender. Our pay determination procedures ensure fairness, eliminating unequal pay and unconscious bias. We take pride in being an employer that upholds principles of equality and fairness.

Recognizing that addressing the Gender Pay Gap at our institution is a complex and ongoing process, we are committed to continuous improvement. This involves practical steps to dismantle barriers women may face and fostering a shift in attitudes and behaviours across our entire community. By prioritizing diversity and inclusion in all matters related to our people, we aim to enhance the diversity of our organization at all levels.

Our report is based on snapshot data as of June 30, 2023, covering payments for those employed during the 12-month period from July 2022 to June 2023. We acknowledge that not all data for claim payments could be included in our GPG analysis due to the way data is captured across our systems. However, significant progress has been made, reducing the excluded data from 13% to 2.8% since our last report. We remain committed to making all data available for future reporting.

DCU welcomes the opportunity to share this data and is dedicated to collaborating with colleagues and stakeholders within DCU and across the Higher Education Sector to sustain progress. Our GPG reports serve as valuable resources, informing future actions related to our EDI efforts. Collecting this data enhances our understanding of areas for improvement and identifies the success of our current initiatives, driving positive results.

This report sets out our gender pay gap results by:-

  • mean gender pay gap in hourly pay 
  • median gender pay gap in hourly pay 
  • proportion of men and women in each pay quartile

Note – there is no data on bonus or benefit in kind payments, included in our GPG metrics, as these are not paid by the University.

DCU’s Gender Pay Gap metrics are calculated in line with the regulations outlined in the legislation.


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Our Results

GPG Metrics for all Staff, including part-time casual employees at 30th June 2023 (total of 1,847 employees)

Pay Gap

Pay Gap

Mean Hourly
Pay Gap –
Part Time

Hourly Pay
Gap – Part

Hourly Pay
Gap –

Hourly Pay
Gap –








Quartile Analysis

















Gender Pay Gap Data Analysis

Our overall gender pay gap is 8.18%.  DCU’s workforce is 57.8% female with 46% of senior management positions filled by women. DCU remains committed to developing female talent across the organisation and in leadership positions. This is reflected in the GPG quartile analysis for both all staff and salaried staff whereby there is almost 50:50 distribution of females in the middle and upper earning groups. The gender pay gap, therefore, appears to be driven by the greater number of female earners in the lower quartile earning groups when looking at total staff.


What is the Gender Pay Gap?

The Gender Pay Gap is the gap between what is earned on average by women, and men, based on average gross hourly earnings of all paid employees. It does not indicate or identify discrimination or bias, or even an absence of equal pay for equal value work. It is a means of capturing whether women are represented evenly across the organisation.

The GPG is expressed as a percentage of men's pay. A positive gender pay gap shows that the female staff typically have lower pay than male employees.


Mean Gender Pay Gap

Our mean hourly gender pay gap is 8.18%.  The mean (average) gender pay gap shows the difference in the average hourly rate of pay between men and women. The total pay of all men, divided by the number of men, is compared to women on the same basis.


Median Gender Pay Gap

Our median hourly gender pay gap is 10.71%.  The median (mid-point) gender pay gap compares the hourly pay of the female in the middle to the hourly pay of the man in the middle if all employees were lined up by female and male, in order of pay from highest to lowest. 


What causes a Gender Pay Gap if there is equal Pay ?

As different jobs pay differently and the number of men and women performing these jobs varies, a gender pay gap emerges if, for example, more men are in higher paid roles or more women are in lower paid roles.


What is the difference between Unequal Pay and the Gender Pay Gap?

The gender pay gap is different from ‘equal pay’.  Equal pay requires that men and women who carry out the same or similar jobs; or work of equal value, are paid the same. Paying women less than men for the same job, purely on account of their gender, is illegal and is outlawed by equality legislation.

The gender pay gap explores pay regardless of what the pay rate is for a particular job/grade/role.  It is about what is earned on average by women and men based on average gross hourly earnings of all paid employees. 


How are pay quartiles calculated? 

The quartiles analysis ranks men and women from the lowest to highest earners. This is then divided into four even groups to show the proportions of men and women in each of these four earnings groups.


What’s included in our calculations?

The pay gap data includes ordinary pay paid to employees in the 12 months up to June 2023 i.e. basic pay, allowances, overtime, pay for leave, shift premium pay.  

Ongoing Activities & Actions - what is DCU doing to address its Gender Pay Gap?

We encourage gender equality across the University and our commitments to improving gender equality have included the following actions, which have been important steps in the right direction:

  • Ensuring that there is a balanced gender mix involved in all stages of the recruitment process
  • Monitoring academic promotions from a gendered perspective and putting gender quotas in place where appropriate
  • Using software to assess language neutrality and bias in our recruitment adverts
  • Gender and Women in Leadership initiatives - a core component of DCU’s EDI work

DCU is very proud to have a wide range of initiatives and actions that support the University’s commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion, and that aims to be inclusive at all levels, and embraces and celebrates our visible and invisible differences. Below are some examples of this work. 


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Athena Swan


DCU has been engaging with the Athena Swan charter since its establishment in Ireland in 2015. DCU currently holds a Bronze institutional award; having first received it in 2017 and again in 2020. The University is in the process of completing a self-assessment process for a Silver Award, which will be submitted in April 2024. As part of this, a new four-year gender action plan will be created and implemented across the period 2024 to 2028. DCU also holds seven departmental level bronze awards which supports gender equality at a local level. 


Women in Leadership

The DCU Women in Leadership initiative was launched in 2015 against the backdrop of notable gender imbalance across the Higher Education sector. The vision for the Women in Leadership Initiative at DCU has always been for our university to explicitly value women as leaders and ensure that women at DCU are supported and encouraged to achieve their full potential. 

Since the establishment of the Women in Leadership initiative in 2015, there has been an increase in female representation across all academic grades, most notably at Full Professor level where female representation has jumped from 21% in 2015 to 35% in 2023. Since the establishment of gender balanced promotions at Associate Professor grade, we have seen female representation increase from 39% in 2015 to 52% in 2023. 

Since its launch, a wide range of formal and informal activities have been facilitated including the Mary McAleese Lecture Series, Listening Lunches and funding for research projects on the impact of maternity leave on academic careers. As part of the Women in Leadership initiative, multiple programmes for female career progression have been implemented: 


Aurora Leadership Development Programme

Aurora, a leadership development programme for women, was designed to help address the issue of the under-representation of women in senior posts in the higher education sector. The objective of the programme is to embed a leadership mindset whereby women identify as leaders and seek appropriate opportunities to develop capabilities, skills and networks to support them in their developing careers. Since 2015, 95 female staff within DCU have participated in Aurora, with 55% of those moving into more senior positions within the university in the aftermath. 

Preparing for Academic Advancement (PAA) Programme

In 2021 DCU was successful in our joint application for funding to run the PAA (Preparing for Academic Advancement) with the University of Limerick. The programme is specifically for academics at Associate Professor level who are ready and credible challengers for promotion to Professor. To date, ten female staff within DCU have engaged with the programme: 2 in 2021, 4 in 2022, and 4 in 2023. 

Senior Academic Leadership Initiative 

The Senior Academic Leadership Initiative (SALI) aims to accelerate progress in achieving gender balance at the senior academic level in higher education. To date, DCU has been successful in receiving funding for three Full Professors across the disciplines of Finance, Physics and Computer Science. 

View our Gender Pay Gap Report for 2022