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Wednesday, April 26 • 1:20pm - 1:40pm
Faculty Salaries: An Analysis of Pay Disparities

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Between 1993 and 2013, the number of faculty positions held by women in the United States increased by 14.5%. Despite the increase of female representation throughout academia, female faculty members on average earned 6.9% less than male faculty members as of 2014. Neoclassical theory proposes that the pay gap is a function of human capital differences such as educational attainment and an individual’s choice of academic fields to pursue. According to Neoclassical theorists, the pay gap is a function for the likelihood of women to prefer and choose "softer" fields of academia, fields such as literature and sociology that have lower salaries on average in comparison to engineering and computer science, fields highly concentrated with men. For example, according to BLS data from 2015, the average faculty salary in a literature department was $66,313, where the average salary in a computer science department was $89,112. Based off the neoclassical model, gender discrimination in the academic labor market exists only to the degree that gender inequalities in faculty salary cannot be illustrated through differences in human capital and the individual’s choice of field. Feminist theories suggest that the gender wage gap may not be a function of human capital differences or individual choices. Instead, it is argued that the occupational segregation of women into “soft” fields and men into “hard” fields is a result of patriarchal socialization of women into stereotypical female fields where they remain limited by gender norms. This thesis will explore the above theories by using faculty salary data to test the hypothesis that gender identity is a statistically significant factor of what influences faculty salaries at UNCA.


Wednesday April 26, 2017 1:20pm - 1:40pm
035 Karpen Hall