Washington State University Reports on Efforts Relating to the Status of Women on Campus

The Washington State University President’s Commission for the Status of Women recently released their findings from a gender-based salary pilot study. The presidential commission partnered with the Administrative Professional Advisory Council and the Association for Faculty Women to examine faculty salaries in the College of Arts and Sciences and university-wide staff administrative manager salaries for potential inequities. While this first study was inconclusive, commission past chair Katie Cooper said it’s a good start. It also puts the university closer to the efforts of its peer institutions, many of which conduct salary studies every year.

“It’s an internal check to make sure there aren’t inequities happening at WSU,” Cooper said. “And if we’re doing really well at this, it needs to be highlighted. Being able to show that the university has committed to equity helps us recruit people for top positions.”

While the pilot study only examined one college, the commission plans to eventually conduct the study across all WSU campuses. In order to carry out these studies successfully, the commission recommends that WSU President Kirk Schulz hire a trained statistician, build a standing salary committee, develop a statistical model for the study, and conduct the study annually.

In addition to the new research project, the commission focused on supporting childcare initiatives on campus. They also successfully launched the annual Women’s Leadership Conference. The commission also made various other recommendations to improve women’s status on campus. These suggestions include increasing the number of lactation spaces on campus, adding more formal financial and administrative support to the Woman of the Year/Women of Distinction Awards, requiring that the demographics of the candidate pool for all administrative searches be reported to the Office of Equal Opportunity and publicly shared, and developing a staff mentoring program.

“The commission’s efforts are vital to ensuring an environment that is equitable and supportive of women at all of our campus locations,” said President Schulz. “I appreciate the commission’s efforts during the past year, and our leadership team will work to advance the recommendations submitted.”

Filed Under: Gender Gap


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