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Though narrowing, gender pay gap remains in federal employment

The title of the agency should say it all: Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. With a name like that, you might think that the concept of pay bias based on gender would be nonexistent in the federal workforce. But, as we observed in a previous post, this is a long-standing issue.

Unfortunately, as a recent news item makes clear, the gap – though apparently narrowing – is still present. Any time a federal employee has questions about lower pay and suspicion of discrimination, contacting an attorney about response options is advised.

The Washington Post article referred to starts from the premise that if federal jobs were equally distributed between men and women, women should generally be making more than men. Yet, they don't.

This is apparently based on the paper's review of data showing that more women in the federal workforce have advanced education degrees and have shifted from what once were clerical positions into higher-paying professional jobs in government.

Despite those statistics, the paper says its research showed that when comparing men and women with comparable experience, jobs and education, men still tend to make more than women. Things have improved over the dozen years studied, but there is still a gap.

The paper says the variation can be chalked up to a number of things. Some agencies, such as those dedicated to science and technology, tend to come close to gender pay parity than others. But even in the best of scenarios, women make up no more than a third of the employee base in those agencies.

What's clear is that many causes can result in pay disparity. Countering those issues, including the addressing of suspected discrimination, requires meeting specific legal requirements.

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