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Study finds some gender pay gaps in Utah's executive branch

Posted at 1:10 PM, May 24, 2021

SALT LAKE CITY — The Governor's Office of Planning and Budget has completed a study aimed at helping Utah narrow its gender pay gap.

At face value, the study shows executive branch employees who identify as male earn 21% more than females and those who report as White and Non-Hispanic or Latino earn 17% more than those who report as Non-White or Hispanic or Latino.

But the raw data used to determine those figures is only part of the picture.

"The findings of this research show that worker and workplace characteristics such as work performed, tenure, schedule code, equal opportunity designation, and agency largely explain the variance in state employee wages," an executive summary of the study reads.

After accounting for all the workplace variables, the study found there is not a statistically significant difference between male and female earnings and minorities and non-minorities.

"It's really important to understand where pay disparities may exist and to increase opportunities for a labor pipeline into the state," said Nate Talley, deputy director and chief economist, governor's office of management and budget. "Making sure that those who seek to engage with state government in employment capacities really have an opportunity for increased wage mobility, decision-making authority and all that comes with that across all the different opportunities that might be available in state government."

The Department of Human Resource Management will further evaluate instances of gender pay gaps within some agencies and wherever similar levels of work are performed.

The study also found women and minorities are underrepresented in jobs associated with higher levels of pay. DHRM will evaluate Utah's state recruitment practices, applicant pools and the labor pipeline with an emphasis on key leadership positions as part of its action items.

DHRM will also consider changes to paid family leave benefits and the potential effects of leave use on wage advancement.