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Women and minorities who work for New York City earn less

Women and minorities who work for New York City earn less

Women and racial minorities who worked for New York City earned about 84 cents for every dollar the city’s white and male employees took home, according to a City Council report based on data through 2021.

The pay gap nearly disappeared for workers with the same job title, but across the city, women and people of color tended to focus on jobs that paid less than those of their white male counterparts and work at agencies where the average wage was lower. Much of the wage disparity was due to the low wages received by workers who were both women and minorities.

To improve pay equity, the report recommends expanding the civil service pipeline, hiring municipal career counselors and gathering better information about workplace culture and perceived barriers to promotion.

Amaris Cockfield, spokesperson for Mayor Eric Adams, said in an email that the mayor has “taken numerous steps to dramatically close the wage gap that women of color continue to face,” including signing legislation requiring city employers to to indicate a salary scale for all jobs. job openings and the launch of Women Forward NYC, a program to connect women to professional development and better-paying jobs.

An unequal distribution of workers by race and gender across occupations, a phenomenon the report’s authors called “occupational segregation,” was widespread among city agencies that collectively employ nearly 300,000 people. The lowest-paid agencies, such as the Department of Social Services or the Department of Rebation, with average annual salaries of $54,100 and $57,903 respectively, tended to have the highest shares of female or minority employees.

The highest-paying agencies, such as the FDNY or the Department of Technology and Innovation, with average salaries of $92,073 and $95,000 respectively, tended to be those with the lowest shares of female and minority employees.

Similar results can be seen on some career ladders, where higher-paying positions within an agency tend to be filled primarily by white and male employees, while lower-paying positions tend to be filled by more female and minority employees, the report said. In the NYPD, for example, in 2021 — the last year for which the report included data — 80% of police officers were male and 43% were white, but 90% of captains were male, 66% of whom were white.

The report was based on data collected under the city’s 2019 Pay Equity Act, which did not require Department of Education data to be provided to Council. The law has since been changed so that data from the Ministry of Education will be sent to the city council in the future. Including data from the city Department of Education’s many female teachers would likely have narrowed the gender pay gap, the report’s authors said.

In an email, Patrick Hendry, president of the Police Benevolent Association, said a “promotion pipeline” into uniformed ranks for lower-paid civilian staffers, such as traffic enforcement officers or administrative assistants, would help address the pay disparity. That pipeline, Hendry added, should be accompanied by legislation that allows people with some form of city service to buy back retirement time after becoming police officers.

These civilian titles “are a valuable pipeline for some of our most talented and diverse recruits,” Hendry said in a statement. “That’s why we’re looking for additional incentives to keep some of those internal recruits within the NYPD, rather than jumping to another law enforcement agency with better benefits.”

Representatives of the union representing city firefighters could not be reached for comment.

In an interview, Vico Fortier, an attorney for the Brooklyn-based Gender Equality Law Center, said the report’s findings suggested that laws banning discrimination in hiring were insufficient.

“There are issues of implicit bias that cause women, gender minorities and people of color to face additional barriers in the workplace,” Fortier said.