National Survey Finds Gender Pay Gap Among Social Work Faculty in Higher Education

Leslie Tower, a professor of social work at West Virginia University, and her research team has found in a nationally representative survey that women social work faculty make less than their male counterparts by nearly $6,000 year, despite the fact that women are the majority in the profession.

“Much attention has been given to the underrepresentation of women in STEM and the lack of gender parity in resource allocation,” Dr. Tower said. “This study is an important reminder that women have not yet gained gender parity in women-majority professions, in this case, social work.”

The survey found that men with no administrative duties earn almost the same salary as women with administrative roles, $82,300 to $82,800 respectively. In addition to having higher salaries, the survey found that men are more likely to hold the rank of professor. Women make up the majority of all social work faculty, but were more likely than men to hold less prestigious ranks. Also, women experience a greater salary penalty when they teach in undergraduate-only social work programs.

While a pay gap continues to exist, the gap has narrowed by about $4,000 since 2003, according to the researchers. Since the last national study, parity has improved in other areas, such as in administrative positions and tenure status.

“This study shows that while some gains have been made, sadly we are not post-women’s equity,” Dr. Tower said.

Dr. Tower is a graduate of the University of Florida. She holds an MBA from the University of Miami, and a master of social work degree and a Ph.D. both from Barry University in Miami.

The full study, “The Status of Women in Social Work Education: A Follow-Up Study,” was published in the journal Affilia. It may be accessed here.

Filed Under: Research/Study


RSSComments (0)

Leave a Reply