The Gender Pay Gap: What Can You Do?

Lifestyle Editor Victoria Chapman discusses what Royal Holloway’s students can do to combat the issue of the gender pay gap at University and in the outside world.

You’ve probably heard or read about Orbital’s breaking story on the comments made by Principal Paul Layzell about the gender pay gap recently. But, the question is what can you do as a fellow student to combat this problem as you move ever closer to a career yourself?

In late March, a group called RHOccupy camped outside the Principal’s office, campaigning against the lack of support for Royal Holloway’s lecturing staff during the UCU strikes.  The outcome was incredible – not only did the Principal agree to sign their list of demands and meet with them to discuss their concerns, but this reflected a wider idea of how a demonstration of students can affect university politics.  This does not just apply to the strikes. This is our university which means we have the power to instil as much change as we push for.

If you’re concerned about the gender pay gap at Royal Holloway then you have the power to make your voice heard – email the Principal to find out what Royal Holloway is doing to combat the problem at university. You can also make sure to check out the website paymetoo.com to get tips, advice and info on the gender pay gap and how we can become more informed of these issues.

#Paymetoo is a group in parliament who just launched their website, discussing how parliament plan on diminishing the gender pay gap altogether – as students we need to ensure we are aware of these issues which affect our university and adversely affect our future when we enter the world of work.

But most importantly, talk to your tutors – talk to your department, your members of staff, lecturers, tutors and see what they have to say about it, this is the most direct way of finding out how those who run this university feel about the gender pay gap themselves.

We should also see our university as a product. Principal Layzell, in this example, is the manager and boss of Royal Holloway, with its students as the consumers, the customers. He has to make sure we are satisfied with the state of the University as we are the ones who actually keep it alive – with no students or staff, Royal Holloway is nothing.

So don’t you agree that we have the right to start asking those difficult questions which until recently, have been ignored or dismissed? We live in a time of change, progression and innovation, so it’s about time we stand up for what’s right and continue supporting an equal future for everyone.