Despite accounting for more than half the total workforce, many female employees at Ohio University, regardless of rank, make less than their male counterparts.

The university added 72 female employees for the 2017-18 academic year, while its number of male employees decreased by 19. Women now account for approximately 54 percent of the university’s staff, up 1 percent from last year.

According to data obtained by The Post via a public records request, the average salary of a male tenure-track professor is about $94,000, whereas the average female tenure-track professor makes about $86,600, which is about $7,400 less. 

That disparity, however, is evident across the board, not just while examining higher-level positions. 

Male custodial employees, for instance, average an hourly salary of $19.26, whereas female custodians, who account for about 60 percent of their department, make an average of $18.72 per hour. 

The disparity also does not discriminate based on academic department. In multiple departments, from mathematics to journalism to psychology, the average man makes a higher salary than the average woman. 

 Women currently hold eight of the top 50 highest-earning positions at OU.

One of those women is Dean of Students Jenny Hall-Jones, who said there is still much work to be done in ensuring income equality at the university.

“It’s pretty clear across the board. I think we’ve made a lot of progress, and we’re continuing to strive for progress … but if you’re looking at where we’re at right now and thinking that (the wage gap) doesn’t still exist, it’s kind of a problem. It’s still there.”

Hall-Jones said although she believes college-aged men are growing up “more egalitarian than ever before,” and are seeking equal partnerships, the glass ceiling remains an obstacle for women.

“You can make individual strides. Like it’s awesome right now that Deb Shaffer is our vice president of finance and administration,” Hall-Jones said. “But she’s one person, and you can’t look to the one figurehead to be like, ‘we made it.’”

With a salary of $360,000, Shaffer makes the fifth-highest salary at OU, just under that of interim Executive Vice President and Provost David Descutner. Shaffer earns about $80,000 more than the next-highest ranked female employee. 

“Ohio University is (committed) to ensuring fair, equitable and competitive pay for all its employees, including females,” OU Spokeswoman Carly Leatherwood said in an email. “To ensure our compensation practices are working effectively, the University engages an external expert in the area of compensation to conduct a biennial compensation equity review.” 

Leatherwood said the last review, conducted in 2016, confirmed that the university’s compensation practices are “working effectively to ensure that employee compensation is being determined on a non-discriminatory basis.”

According to data from The Chronicle of Higher Education, in 2015, female professors at OU made about $3,500 less than the national average of $103,477 for female professors at four-year public colleges. At the time, female professors at OU made an average of $99,909.

During the same period, male professors at OU made an average of approximately $109,000, about $9,000 less than the national average of male professors, $118,918, at four-year public colleges. That is, however, about $10,000 more than their female counterparts at OU. 

“It’s all of our responsibility, no matter what gender you identify with,” Hall-Jones said. “It’s our responsibility to make sure people are being treated equally.”


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