Studies show UT has no wage gap but has inconsistencies in time-to-promotion

Caroline Cummings

The latest findings on UT’s gender salary equality showed tenured and tenure-track female faculty salaries were actually 0.3 percent higher than their male counterparts.

These findings, which were released last September by the Employment Issues Committee of the University Faculty Gender Equality Council, showed a 4.6 percent increase for tenure/tenure-track facilities from the previous year. Non-tenure track, or lecturer, female faculty salaries were 5.1 percent higher than their male counterparts, a 13.5 percent increase from the previous year. The data from the report also shows female faculty have a longer time-to-promotion from tenure-track assistant to tenured associate professor and from associate to full professor compared to male faculty.

Committee co-chair Laura Starks said this data indicates there is no gender bias in professor, associate professor and assistant professor salaries across the University. She said while these analyses control for differences in experience, field, rank and years in that rank, there are other factors that cannot be controlled for. 

“The problem with these analyses is that we are not able to control for differences in other factors such as research productivity or teaching excellence, which could affect salaries,” Starks said.

Jennifer Glass, an expert at the Council on Contemporary Families, Department of Sociology and Population Research Center, said the report’s controls for sources of salary differentiation lead to findings indicating no difference in salary between women and men in the same departments and ranks.


“This overlooks the fact that women spend a longer period of time in rank … and women faculty are more likely to be in colleges and departments that pay lower salaries.” Glass said. 

Glass said “motherhood-bias” could be a factor contributing to the discrepancy.

“Even mothers who work continuously and do not drop their work hours are likely to face slower earnings growth and slower promotions because of stereotypical attributions made by employers about their competency and commitment to work post-birth,” Glass said. “We have very good anti-bias policies and work-family policies at UT. Our problems are more about uneven policy implementation and fairness across units and colleges that have affected specific faculty members.”

Alma Jackie Salcedo, an academic adviser at the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies, said she is happy about the wage gap shrinking and the increase in women faculty at UT.

“I am really glad we’re getting a (female) dean of liberal arts,” Salcedo said. “It’s great we’re getting more women faculty and women leaders.”