Posted at 4 p.m. May 3, 2017

LCCC President’s Cabinet shows no gender wage gap

Higher education administration is still a man’s world when looking at pay and position title, according to an article from Inside Higher Education.

On the other hand, that is not the case at Laramie County Community College, specifically looking at the President’s Cabinet. There is no gender wage gap, and women tend to hold higher positions.

“Women working in administrative positions mostly filled by men did earn relatively more than many of their peers who work in positions largely filled by women ­— and in a handful of cases, those outnumbered women earned more than their male counterparts,” Rick Seltzer said in his article, “80 Cents on the Dollar.”

“While that may offer little or no comfort to women administrators who believe in equal pay for equal work across the board, it could show that colleges and universities are attempting to recruit and keep women for positions in which they are underrepresented,” Seltzer wrote.

At LCCC, the men’s average salary in the President’s Cabinet is $121,585.50 and the women’s average salary is $120,713, a difference of $872. This average does not include an interim position currently serving on the cabinet, executive director for the Albany County Campus, that is paid a significantly lower salary than other cabinet members. The executive director for ACC is serving on the President’s Cabinet in place of an associate vice president position, which is currently open. Including the interim position brings the average salary for women down to $113,570.40.

“The pay gap between female and male higher education administrators seemed to be shrinking at a faster rate in the early 2000s,” Seltzer wrote.

President Dr. Joe Schaffer said the college’s hiring methods are designed to prevent a gender wage gap.

“Generally, we use the same process that we use for filling any position on campus, most of it is a market-based analysis,” Schaffer said.

Using this process helps the hiring system at the college stay within the same range as other job salaries in the same field.

“What we do is look at comparative positions of roles within the market, knowledge skills, abilities and experience in a similar position,” Schaffer said.

Interim positions tend to be paid slightly below what LCCC pays full-time appointments. At the moment, there are two women serving in interim positions: Terry Harper is the interim vice president of Academic Affairs and Lisa Trimble is the interim associate vice president for Institutional Advancement.

“But not always, we have had interims be paid on par and even above where we end up hiring the full-time person afterwards,” Schaffer said.

When looking for new administrators for the Cabinet level, the hiring team looks for technical competence, how the individual conducts him or herself, and how people will fit with the culture and where the institution is going.

“We want individuals who will step in and demonstrate that they have the experience, the technical abilities, the knowledge and skills to fulfill the functions of the job,” Schaffer said.

Characteristics would include active listening, articulation ability, presenting effective communication and more.

“Every organization has a unique culture and we really look for people that will fit well with the culture at LCCC,” Schaffer said.

When hiring for the President’s Cabinet, Schaffer said the college doesn’t look at or focus on gender diversity when seeking candidates.

“We look for the best candidates and we have to utilize the precious resources we have and get the best work for those resources,” Schaffer said.

Those resources would be student tuition and state and local dollars.

“I think there are times when we want equitable distribution in gender and race and we like to see greater levels of diversity in the organization,” Schaffer said.

“’Research shows that a diverse staff can help more students succeed and improve institutions’ research ability … That diversity includes gender diversity,” Jacqueline Bichsel said in the Inside Higher Ed article. She is the director of research for the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources.

Gender diversity is evident in certain positions around the LCCC campus, but also at other community colleges.

“I see in community colleges that there are more opportunities for women in leadership than there have been in other elements of higher education,” Vice President of Student Services Judy Hay said.

The college could recruit students and employees without them feeling they are not as good as other individuals of a different gender.

“I’ve never felt like me being a woman in this industry has been a detriment or a factor that will be a problem,” Hay said.

An absence of a gender wage gap matters because it is a valuing of human beings and of merit, she said.

“It’s really great to work in an industry that is a little more gender blind than others could be,” Hay said.


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