Female faculty members at the University make less money than male faculty members on average, according to a study released by the Office of the Provost on May 18.
The study used statistical models to predict faculty salaries. One analysis revealed that female faculty members make 2.5 percent less than their male counterparts.
The pay gap based on gender reflects a national trend of lower salaries for women at universities across the country. The American Association of University Professors released data in 2006 showing that women in academia generally earn 81 percent of what men earn.
The University survey of faculty members in 19 of the 20 University schools included 565 women and 1,248 men who have or are applying for tenure. The medical school was excluded because it uses a more complex model to determine salaries, the study said.
The report looked at how factors like gender, race, ethnicity, level of degree and years at the University correlate to pay.
How faculty members rank in professorship – assistant, associate or full professor – determines their salary at the University, and was included as a control in one analysis.
However, another analysis was conducted without considering differences in rank because the researchers hypothesized that factors contributing to the gender-based gap in pay might be compounded by women being in lower positions which could be because they aren’t chosen as often for promotion. When control variables did not include rank, males made 3.8 percent more than females.
The study indicated that men are more likely to be full professors than women, with only 36 percent of women in full professorship positions compared to 57% of men.
An article published in Ms. Magazine last month made claims consistent with the University’s findings that women are less likely than men to be promoted to high positions in academia.
“National studies suggest that female faculty salaries lag behind those of their male colleagues across the country,” said associate provost Lori Pierce in an e-mail interview. “One possible explanation is that women did not enter the faculty nationwide in large numbers until fairly recently. As a result, they have not yet reached the rank and salary levels of men.”
The most recent study used salaries from 2005 and mirrors a study conducted by the Office of the Provost in 1999. Comparison of the two studies shows an increase in the pay gap, although the increase is not large enough to be considered statistically significant.
Pierce said the data collected from the study is being analyzed alongside faculty evaluations that take individual performance into consideration.
The surveys were conducted to collect comparison data for more comprehensive studies in the future.
“We need to collect data for two to three years before we will have sufficient information to do a meaningful study,” she said.
The Office of the Provost recently began collecting data on starting salaries for men and women at the University, Pierce said.