The Gatepost Editorial: Gender wage gap still an issue

In 2017, one would hope that gender wage gap issues in the workplace would be problems of a bygone era – an era when women were expected to be happy making 59 cents for every dollar a man made.

One would think those days would be long gone by now.

But sadly, the gender wage gap persists, even here at FSU.

Last week, the Massachusetts State College Association released an executive summary of a gender bias study that involved Massachusetts’ nine state colleges and universities. Framingham State University in particular was singled out for having a gender wage gap among associate professors.

For a breakdown of the study, we refer readers to The Gatepost’s comprehensive article on the subject in the news section this week.

Referencing fall 2015 salary data for full-time faculty, the report states that, on average, male associate professors at FSU made around $5,340 more than female associate professors.

Keep in mind, as the study notes, there wasn’t a substantial correlation between years of service and the large gap in pay, meaning female associate professors who have worked at the University for the same number of years as their male coworkers are making less despite the fact that they hold the same position.

Of the schools analyzed, Westfield State is the only other Massachusetts state university that has a wage gap discrepancy that can’t in some way be tied to faculty members’ years of service.

Council of Presidents (COP) representative Vincent Pedone has questioned how accurate the study is considering the constraints on the data – the numbers used were from 2015.  However, this issue reaches far beyond concerns of methodology in one relatively small-scale study. Nationwide – even globally – gender inequity is an undeniable problem.

According to the Pew Research Center, when it comes to full-and part-time work, women earned 83 percent of what their male co-workers earned in 2015.

Chief among Pedone’s complaints is that the survey was not completed in collaboration with the COP. As Pedone suggests, we urge the Board of Higher Education and the COP to work in conjunction with the MSCA to conduct more extensive research to determine the full extent of the gender wage gap in the state university system.

It’s time to even the playing field for everyone in the workforce, and that can start here at FSU by following through with the “inclusive excellence” of which FSU boasts and close the gender pay gap.

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