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Princeton University to pay 106 female professors nearly $1.2million after government review into gender pay inequalities

Daily Mail
Daily Mail
 2020-10-15

Princeton University has agreed to pay female professors nearly $1.2 million in back wages following a review into pay inequality at the elite university.

The U.S. Department of Labor said the review, which began in 2014, had found discrepancies between the pay given to male and female professors over a two-year period.

Focusing on female full professors from 2012 to 2014, the review found that 106 women had been paid less than their male counterparts, a statement released last week by the Labor Department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs said.

Without admitting any liability, the Ivy League university made an agreement with the federal compliance office in order to 'avoid lengthy and costly litigation and its impact on the faculty and the university,' the New York Times reported Ben Chang, the university's spokesman as saying.

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Princeton University has agreed to pay female professors nearly $1.2 million in back wages following a review into pay inequality at the elite school. The review found that 106 female full professors had been paid less than their male counterparts

As per the agreement, reached on September 30, Princeton will pay $925,000 in back pay to the 106 female professors identified by the review.

The university will also pay $250,000 in future salary adjustments, bringing the total doled out by the elite education body to nearly $1.2 million.

It has also agreed to introduce measures to ensure pay is equal in the future, including regular salary reviews, actively hiring women in fields where they have traditionally been poorly represented and encouraging women to apply for leadership roles.

In the statement from the Labor Department, Craig E. Leen, director of the federal compliance office said his agency was 'satisfied' that Princeton had agreed to address the issues raised by the report.

He called the early resolution conciliation agreement Princeton had entered into 'an effective tool for contractors to ensure equitable pay to employees, enhance internal salary equity reviews, and proactively correct any disparities uncovered.'

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A university spokesman said that the government review was based on a 'flawed statistical model' and contradicted the findings of Princeton's own review into professors' pay, which found no significant pay inequities based on gender, the spokesman said

The New York Times reported that the most recent data from the Chronicle of Higher Education, female full professors at the university earned about $235,000 in 2018, while men earned $253,000.

However Mr Chang, Princeton's spokesperson said that reviewing all professors' salaries together was a 'flawed statistical model', adding that it 'bore no resemblance to' how the university hires, evaluates and compensates its faculty in practice.

Chang said that Princeton had conducted its own analysis, comparing full professors by department, rather than by gender.

He said this was 'the correct way' to examine pay disparities because academic specialities 'function as separate labor markets for purposes of hiring and compensation.'

Princeton's own review found no significant pay inequalities based on gender, Chang said.

He added that the government informed Princeton that it 'was closing the review with no finding of discrimination,' but he added that the federal compliance office took up the review again for what he described as 'unexplained reasons,' NPR reported.

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