New study shows gender and racial pay gaps among Utah’s executive employees, but not so much in pay for equal work

May 24, 2021, 7:00 PM | Updated: May 25, 2021, 11:06 am
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SALT LAKE CITY —  A new study from the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget shows there are some gender and racial pay gaps in Utah’s Executive Branch, but the gap shrinks when comparing those with similar work factors. 

“There seems to be a gap in what could be equal opportunity across these higher level positions that pay more and have more influence,” said Nate Talley, Chief Economist with the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget. 

The study shows that men in Utah’s executive positions make 21% more than women and those who identify as White and Non-Hispanic or Latino earn 17% more than those who report as Non-White or Hispanic or Latino. But, according to the study when you factor in “work performed, tenure, schedule code, equal opportunity designation, and agency,” the state says those factors “largely explain the variance in state employee wages.”

That means, according to Tally, that the state employees with the same salary range, with the same years of service, in the same agency,  and the same annual leave balances seem to be making about equal pay for equal work. 

“Once you take all of that into account then the pay gap would then shrink to something that’s immaterial, on average,” Tally said. 

“After modeling for determinants to wages, average pay gaps are estimated such that males earn 2.2% more than females and non-minorities earn 0.6% more than minorities,” the report stated.

Tally says while the State may be doing well in this regard, there’s more work to do on why there is such a large gap in executive employee’s pay. 

“Executive directors, deputy directors and many division directors and other higher level positions they are more male, non-minority oriented, and so you might imagine those positions pay more. And they do pay more.” 

This is why Tally said the State is now looking at how they recruit, and the opportunities they offer women and minorities. 

“How is the state recruiting for employment when a position comes open, what do the applicant pools look like, how are the applicants given consideration? That’s very much something that the state, under Governor Cox’s leadership, is committing to analyze further.”

The study looked at 17,530 employee records across 25 agencies as of March 5. 


Other Reading:

Professor: gender pay gap not what it seems at BYU

The Salt Lake City Council says they need more diversity, so they gave themselves a pay raise

Utah has the second worst gender wage gap in the US, report says

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New study shows gender and racial pay gaps among Utah’s executive employees, but not so much in pay for equal work