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OPM: Women still paid less than men

Apr. 11, 2014 - 06:00AM   |  
By ANDY MEDICI   |   Comments
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The pay disparity between male and female federal employees is narrowing, but still exists. (EMMANUEL DUNAND / AFP/Getty Images)

Women working in the federal governmen are paid about 87 percent as much as men in equivalent positions, according to a comprehensive study of federal employee pay released by the Office of Personnel Management.

That number is up from 1992 when women in federal government were paid about 70 percent as much, according to OPM director Katherine Archuleta. The study was based on fiscal 2012 numbers and a review of 37 federal job categories.

In a blog post released alongside the report, Archuleta said that while many federal occupations show pay equity, women were not equally represented at higher grade levels and in executive positions and that agencies must do a better job of recruiting women and working to ensure equal representation in management.

“But while our report shows the progress that we’ve made, we won’t be satisfied until women working in federal jobs earn the same as their male counterparts, at every level,” Archuleta said.

The pay gap for supervisors and managers was less than five cents per dollar, but more must be done to reach pay equity, Archuleta said.

“We have a clear guiding principle in federal law: Federal employees must be paid equal pay for equal work. And that’s a standard that we are committed to reaching across the federal government,” Archuleta wrote.

She also released a memo directing agencies with independent pay authority outside the GS schedule to publish those pay scales on their websites and to designate someone responsible for working with OPM on fair pay initiatives within the federal workforce.

The report recommends that agencies:

■ Review their internal employment classification policies and collect metrics to examine how those pay policies impact employees.

■ Develop recruitment and outreach strategies for growing female populations in occupations where they are underrepresented.

■ Conduct separate gender data analyses to determine if pay equity issues are apparent to they can develop more specific solutions.

The report is part of a recent push by the administration to highlight fair pay issues, including an executive order banning retaliation among contractors for discussing pay and a memo requiring contractors to report wage data by gender.

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