Gender equity analysis report combats pay disparities

DSU’s gender and equity analysis report detected pay disparities after taking a deeper look into individual colleges. The report acts as a guide for faculty and staff, but also offers inspiration for female students to take action. Graphic by Emily Wight.

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Dixie State University has a gender equity analysis report in place to fight against and address gender pay disparities.

According to St. George News, Utah is ranked as the lowest state for feminine equality. This is why DSU has been taking steps to ensure there are no pay disparities among faculty and staff because of gender.

The analysis report itself is over 100 pages long with one page dedicated to giving a thorough examination of how there may be pay disparities due to gender while the other pages outline how DSU can combat gender pay disparities. The report outlines how many female faculty and staff there are compared to their male counterparts and what the pay looks like for each.

When taking a deeper look into individual colleges and programs, there have been changes made to payroll for certain instructors as a result of the analysis plan. Jennifer Harrington, assistant professor of the practice in nursing, said she advocated for the pay raises of three female part-time instructors.

“I went to the interim department chair and she went to bat for these women, and they all got a significant pay increase,” Harrington said.

With colleges such as the College of Health Sciences, higher pay for teaching positions is determined differently because the positions include registered nurses as opposed to just instructors. Harrington said certain courses call for part-time positions in the College of Health Sciences.

Certain part-time instructors are registered nurses brought in to assist students in courses pertaining to clinicals. Travis Rosenberg, executive director of human resources, said pay for this position was based around the idea of the part-time instructors being hired externally and whether or not they were being paid enough for the time they were working; however, this caused low pay rates for three female part-time instructors.

While the gender and equity analysis report is a guideline for faculty and staff, Harrington said the importance of this document provides students the chance to see change actively happening and allows them to be part of it by inspiring female students to take action.

Rosenberg said the analysis report has been in place for a few years and is supposed to be structured along with the strategic plan for DSU. The strategic plan for DSU is supposed to address potential pay disparities and what the university is doing to combat them.

Rosenberg said there is a supply and demand chain when considering certain positions in various departments and how payroll would be affected. For example, Rosenberg said the Math Department is in need of more professors. As a result of the analysis plan, existing math professors are going to be brought up to the same level of pay as their peers rather than hiring someone at a higher pay rate when there are existing professors who perform the same duties.

“With internal market compression and equity, we’re looking at the same position within an institution to see if there’s pay equity there,” Rosenberg said.

“The mentorship, advice and support that I received from top women administrators has been instrumental in WRC’s sustainable impact.”

Florence Bacabac, English professor and Women’s Resource Center director

While Harrington fought for higher pay for three female part-time instructors, other female professors on campus are feeling the benefits of having an analysis report like this in place, said Florence Bacabac, English professor and Women’s Resource Center director.

Bacabac said she has been given the ability to do her job as director of the Women’s Resource Center because of the support DSU has given her. The analysis report lays the foundation for pay disparities to be addressed more often and acted upon swiftly.

“I felt DSU was very supportive of this initiative in terms of giving me administrative course release to perform my job,” Bacabac said.

Bacabac said the support she and other women administrators have received from the university has allowed for places like the Women’s Resource Center to flourish.

Bacabac said, “The mentorship, advice and support that I received from top women administrators has been instrumental in WRC’s sustainable impact.”

Harrington said showing female students what other women can do allows for them to be the change they want to see in leadership roles for women.

“Having the faculty take and support other females and supporting them in any way they can shows students the possibilities of what they can do,” Harrington said.