I-TEAM: Same job title, less pay for many female state of Ohio workers

Male state of Ohio employees are paid, on average, nearly 6 percent more than female state employees, according to an I-Team analysis of state of Ohio payroll data.

Ohio’s 26,157 female state employees were compensated, on average, $50,959 last year. The 33,002 male state employees made a mean average of $54,122.

I-TEAM PAYROLL PROJECT: Search state salaries

A difference persisted among workers with the same job title. The most common job title in the state is corrections officer, and female officers made, on average $3,456 less than male COs.

The second most common job title in the state, “administrative staff”, had almost as many women as men. But men made, on average, $9,639 more in that job last year.

RELATED: Doctors top Ohio’s top-paid state worker list

One job where females made slightly more than men was “highway technician 1,” though there were only 77 women in the job last year and 1,157 men.

The I-Team's analysis comes after Equal Pay Day, meant to highlight the national pay disparity between men and woman.

This newspaper reported on a study last year that found Ohio women in the public and private sector are paid 78 cents for every dollar paid to men. The study found this is a burden for working mothers, many of whom are their household's primary breadwinner.

RELATED: Pay gap persists between women and men

Sandy Theis, executive director of the progressive group ProgressOhio, called the I-Team’s findings this week “appalling but not surprising.”

“There are lots of studies that show if women received equal pay for equal work, poverty among women and their families would decrease and kids would be healthier and happier,” she said. “Folks who market themselves as pro-family need to start advocating pro-family policies.”

But Lisa Gates, vice president of communications at the conservative Buckeye Institute, cautioned against drawing the wrong conclusions. She said research shows that the pay gap arises “not because men and women are paid differently for the same work, but because the labor market incentivizes them to work differently.”

“The pay gap between men and women is mostly a reflection of different choices workers make,” she said. “Most studies don’t look at all of the variables including uninterrupted hours of work, choices made by individual workers, and the nature of specific jobs. That is also why you can’t take a payroll database and simply find the average pay for men and women across the board or in specific jobs.”

Here are the 5 most common jobs in state government in Ohio and the mean wages by gender, according to the I-Team’s analysis:

Correction Officer

Female: 1,504 workers; average pay $41,019

Male: 5,839 workers; average pay $44,476

Administrative Staff

Female 1,451 workers; average pay $46,071

Male: 1,377 workers; average pay $55,711

Therapeutic Program Worker

Female: 1581 workers; average pay $31,741

Male: 726 workers; average pay $33,251

Highway Technician 1

Female: 77 workers; average pay $21,836

Male: 1,157 workers; average pay $21,755

Highway Patrol Trooper

Female: 115 workers; average pay $63,983

Male: 1,044 workers; average pay $68,467

Go here for a full searchable database of all state employees compensated more than $50,000 in 2014, 2015 and 2016.


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