Museum pay gap favours men despite more women in top quartile - Museums Association

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Museum pay gap favours men despite more women in top quartile

Pay gap larger than national average at six museum and heritage organisations
Patrick Steel
The median hourly rate for female staff is lower than that of men at all but nine of the 24 UK museums, galleries and heritage organisations that have filed gender pay gap information for 2017-18.

Historic England (14.26%), the National Gallery (15.2%), the National Portrait Gallery (13.1%), the National Trust (14.4%), the National Museum of the Royal Navy (9.1%), and the National Heritage Memorial Fund (18.6%) all have a pay gap equal to or larger than the national average of 9.1%.

Only the British Museum (-4%), the National Maritime Museum (-0.5%), English Heritage (-2.3%), National Museums Scotland (-15%), Glasgow Life (-7.4%), Tate (-2.4%), and the Canal and River Trust (-13.8%) have a pay gap in favour of women. Beamish Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum have a 0% pay gap.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, which employs 641 staff, of whom 52% are female, has an 8.2% pay gap, while Arts Council England has a 2.6% pay gap.

The pay gap exists despite most reporting organisations having more women than men in the top quartile of earners. Only the Imperial War Museum, the Natural History Museum, and the National Museum of the Royal Navy have more men in the top quartile.

The report is a statutory requirement for organisations with 250 employees or more, with a deadline of 31 March each year.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission, which oversees the reporting, told Museums Journal it has written to 1,500 organisations that failed to submit a report by the deadline, giving them 28 days to comply or face investigation, court action and a fine.


We incorrectly stated that Birmingham Museums Trust has more men than women in the top quartile. In fact, Birmingham Museums Trust has 63.3% more women in the top quartile and 61.2% more women in the upper middle quartile. Birmingham Museums Trust has more women than men employed in all of the quartiles.

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