FAIRBANKS - A study by the University of Alaska Fairbanks unearthed a statistic that is troubling, but not new: women employed at the university earn on average about 83 cents for every dollar earned by their male colleagues.
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"The salary difference has persisted for generations," said Sine Anahito, the co-chairwoman of the university's Committee on the Status of Women. "These outdated sexist ideas are lingering at the top."
On average, men employed at UAF receive a salary of $63,914.17. Women earn an average salary of $53,370.98.
"Someday they'll be embarrassed by how much they're paying women as opposed to how much they pay men," Anahito said.
The UAF Faculty Work Life Study looked at statistics and salary records dating to the 1970s and surveyed current faculty as well.
The findings reveal that while the university has improved in closing the gap between the genders, work still needs to be done.
Men at the university tend to rise through the ranks faster, the study shows. The most common year for men to jump from assistant professor to associate professor - the first big promotion for professors - is five, while most women don't get the promotion until their seventh year, when their contract dictates a mandatory promotion review.
Tenure also is more attainable for men at UAF than women. Among the faculty at UAF who are eligible for tenure, 70 percent of men are tenured while only 39 percent of women are.
Tenured faculty receive an automatic pay raise of at least 10 percent and face a much lower risk of being fired than a non-tenured faculty member.
The report had some positive findings as well.
In the 1970s, less than 20 percent of the faculty were women. Now the number of men and women hired each year is nearly the same.
But even with the increased hiring, only 37 percent of all regular faculty at UAF are women, according to Ian Olson, with UAF's office of Planning, Analysis and Institutional Research.
Committee members and the university's administration said they are working to change the gender inequalities on campus.
"We need to do things to encourage women to apply for leadership positions," said provost Paul Reichardt.
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