US government undertakes new gender pay inequality review US government undertakes new gender pay inequality review

US government undertakes new gender pay inequality review
13 Jul 2018

Members of the US Congress have requested that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) carry out another review of gender pay inequity in the federal workforce, including the implications of race and ethnicity on pay.

Rosa DeLauro, Patty Murray, Katherine Clark and Tammy Duckworth wrote in a letter to the GAO: "It has been nearly a decade since GAO last addressed these critical issues."

The last GAO study, which was conducted in 2009, revealed the existence of an 11% pay gap between men and women in 2007. While the gap was smaller than the national average, the GAO was unable to explain it, even after accounting for factors such as occupation, geography, education and management level.

The letter cited an analysis from The Hill, which found that, based on the unexplained portion of the pay gap, female federal workers that year may have been underpaid as much as US$4,942 relative to men for the same work.

"This is a significant loss in pay that hinders the federal government's ability to recruit and retain talented individuals who want to contribute their skills to serve and help solve the major economic, social and security problems of the 21st century," the letter said.

The members of Congress also asked the GAO to examine how effective federal efforts to enforce anti-pay discrimination laws had been and how gender and race was affecting government promotion and hiring rates.

 Emma Woollacott

Emma Woollacott is a freelance business journalist. Her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the Guardian, the Times, Forbes and the BBC.

Members of the US Congress have requested that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) carry out another review of gender pay inequity in the federal workforce, including the implications of race and ethnicity on pay.

Rosa DeLauro, Patty Murray, Katherine Clark and Tammy Duckworth wrote in a letter to the GAO: "It has been nearly a decade since GAO last addressed these critical issues."

The last GAO study, which was conducted in 2009, revealed the existence of an 11% pay gap between men and women in 2007. While the gap was smaller than the national average, the GAO was unable to explain it, even after accounting for factors such as occupation, geography, education and management level.

The letter cited an analysis from The Hill, which found that, based on the unexplained portion of the pay gap, female federal workers that year may have been underpaid as much as US$4,942 relative to men for the same work.

"This is a significant loss in pay that hinders the federal government's ability to recruit and retain talented individuals who want to contribute their skills to serve and help solve the major economic, social and security problems of the 21st century," the letter said.

The members of Congress also asked the GAO to examine how effective federal efforts to enforce anti-pay discrimination laws had been and how gender and race was affecting government promotion and hiring rates.

 Emma Woollacott

Emma Woollacott is a freelance business journalist. Her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the Guardian, the Times, Forbes and the BBC.

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