Princeton University agrees to pay female professors $1 million after a U.S. Department of Labor finds wage disparity. The U.S. Department of Labor told Independent that Princeton University has agreed to pay about $1 million in back compensation after the Department found wage disparities between male and female professors.
The review started in 2014 and focused on female full professors’ wages from 2012 to 2014. It found that 106 females were given less compensation than their male counterparts.
According to Princeton University spokesperson Ben Chang, the University agreed to file an early resolution to “avoid lengthy and costly litigation and its impact on the faculty and the university.” Princeton also did not admit any wrongdoing.
Chang also said in a statement that Princeton contradicted allegations because of the “flawed statistical model that grouped all full professors together regardless of the department,” which does not mirror the way Princeton hires and pays its employees. He also added,
“In other words, a professor of English cannot perform the duties of a professor in the Physics department, and vice versa.”Princeton University spokesperson Ben Chang
Chang also emphasized that Princeton did its analysis and found no disparities between female and male compensations. Meanwhile, Craig Leen, federal compliance office director, said that the Department of Labor was satisfied with the agreement they reached with the University.
“Early resolution conciliation agreements are an effective tool for contractors to ensure equitable pay to employees, enhance internal salary equity reviews, and proactively correct any disparities uncovered.”Craig Leen
Princeton agreed to give a total of $925,000 as back compensation to the 106 female professors, in addition to $250,000 in future salary adjustments. Additionally, Princeton also agreed to launch projects dedicated to ensuring wage equity in the future. The University pointed out that it will be reviewing faculty salaries and will start an initiative to hire women in fields where they are inadequately represented and urging them to serve in leadership posts.
The recent data from The Chronicle of Higher Education have shown that women professors earn relatively less than male professors. According to their data, female Princeton professors annually earn $234,593, while their male counterparts earn approximately $252,805 a year. Additionally, four non-profit schools showed that male professors make about $18,200 more than female professors.
Ohio State University professor Joyce Chen told CNBC that many of these wage disparities can be found among different academic fields and are prevalent in male-dominated fields that offer higher salaries.
“Economists make more than those working in humanities in part because economists can leave and go work at a financial firm or a think tank. But, fundamentally, do the tasks performed by professors in different departments differ enough to justify these wage gaps?”Joyce Chen
According to Chen, her study on wage inequity could help “refute the many justifications put forth to explain the gender pay gap” because “many of these justifications may themselves be the result of implicit or explicit bias,” she told CNBC.