Obama Orders Scrutiny of Federal Gender Pay Gap

Susan Hall
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The Obama administration has ordered a study of ways to reduce the gender gap in pay at federal agencies, reports Federal Times.

Obama gave the Office of Personnel Management 180 days to determine whether changes to the General Schedule pay scale system are required, ways to be more transparent about starting salaries and recommendations for further actions that could narrow the gap.

A memo issued Friday quotes from a 2007 study – six years ago – that women in federal government jobs make 11 cents less for every dollar earned by men. It says 7 cents of the difference could not be explained by differences in education, years of service or other non-discriminatory factors, Federal News Radio reports.

Agency heads also have 90 days to provide their policies and criteria for promotion, especially for those who work part time and may be caring for children or other family members. The order also calls for scrutiny of policies on salaries for those who return after taking extended time off, including to raise children.

In a March report, IT job site Dice.com found no pay discrepancies among men and women in comparable IT roles when comparing equal levels of experience and education. However, women tend to be concentrated in lower-paying occupations such as QA tester, project manager and business analyst, while men dominate in higher-paying roles such as software engineer, systems administrator and IT management. Why remains the question.

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