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Internal Study: For Leon County Employees, Median Pay Higher For Women Than Men

Leon County Commission Website

An internal study ordered by the Leon County Commission has found median pay among county employees is slightly higher for women than it is for men. The study examined the wages of nearly 800 employees.

What it found was a $31 dollar difference in median pay, in favor of women. The positions analyzed showed a $38,723 dollar median pay for women and $38,692 for men. That stands in contrast to state and nationwide numbers, taken from 2016 U.S. Census data. Those showed women in Florida making 87 cents on the dollar compared to men, and 80 cents for every dollar throughout the U.S.

Commissioner Kristin Dozier says she’s proud of what the County is doing to work toward increased equity.

“They looked at different methodologies from similar organizations, which is something I was really interested in, and they looked throughout the county workforce,” Dozier said. “And yes, Leon County, we are very close on pay rates for men and women.”

The Commission ordered the study conducted with a “three-tiered” approach. It compared salaries across the organization as a whole, for individuals in similar positions, and among those with unique job titles. Dozier says it was done that way because of the county workforce’s many functions.

“It is complicated, particularly with an organization like county government. We have such a diverse workforce. We are road crews and libraries and budgeting and legal. It covers the gamut,” Dozier said.

Dozier added the county is looking at further expanding its use of similar studies.

“We asked for an agenda item to come back that will do an annual review of pay equity. But also asked the county administrator to give us a way to look at diversity in all metrics. Minorities, women, all types of things,” Dozier said.

Commissioners also voted to exclude information regarding salary history from the county’s employment application. It cited studies indicating that lower pay in previous jobs can “follow a candidate” throughout their career.

Meanwhile, The Commission on the Status of Women and Girls wants to take an even deeper dive into the study. A spokesperson says the CSWG will be speaking with those who performed the study at its July meeting. It is in the process of preparing its yearly analysis of the local economy.

Ryan Dailey is a reporter/producer for WFSU/Florida Public Radio. After graduating from Florida State University, Ryan went into print journalism working for the Tallahassee Democrat for five years. At the Democrat, he worked as a copy editor, general assignment and K-12 education reporter.