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University refuses to explain purported pay gap between male and female professors

Women allegedly earn less than men at prestigious university

The George Washington University is refusing to comment on a report that women at the school make less on average than their male counterparts.

The school’s student newspaper The GW Hatchet published a report on gender employment disparities at the university earlier this semester. The Hatchet reported that female professors made on average 96 cents for every dollar a male professor made during this academic year. The gap was found to vary among different levels of faculty, with female associate professors making 97 cents on the dollar while female assistant professors only made 90 cents on the dollar.

While these wage disparities were often found to favor males, there were anomalies to this trend. The Hatchet reported that in the business school, female professors earn $1.18 on the dollar compared to their male counterparts, and in the law school, female professors earn $1.02 on the dollar.

Nobody at the university was willing to speak to The College Fix about the alleged pay gaps.

The Fix reached out to the school’s public relations office, the Provost Office, and the Faculty Senate Operations Coordinator, Liz Carlson, for comment on why the various employment disparities exist at the school. None of them replied to The Fix’s queries.

The Fix had reached out to the Faculty Senate because the most recent pay gap findings were presented there last week.

Wide variety of possible explanations for gap

The existence of the gender pay gap can be attributed to a number of factors, including tenure, experience, hours worked per week, and discrimination.

Data have also shown that the broader gender pay gap is likely largely due to the fact that men choose college degrees, and career paths, with much higher income probabilities. Economics professor Mark Perry wrote for the American Enterprise Institute that “in 8 out of the 10 highest-paying college majors…men represented more than 80% of the college graduates in those fields.” The Hatchet reported that women in general occupy fewer faculty positions than men at the university.

Deb Vagins, the senior vice president of public policy and research at the American Association of University Women, suggested universities should conduct more audits and publicize their faculty salaries to address the issues of pay gaps.

“We certainly recommend that salaries – the gender and race breakdown – be public, and we need more broken-down data,” Vagins told the newspaper.

MORE: University holds women-only negotiation workshop to fight pay inequity

MORE: ‘Emotional labor’ payments sought for female student activists

IMAGE: vchal / Shutterstock.com

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About the Author
Ryan Everson -- Arizona State University