WAMC: Professors sue Vassar College over gender pay gap
August 30. 2023
WAMC NorthEast Public Radio interviewed ERA Legal Director Melvina Ford about our lawsuit against Vassar College. We are suing the College for systematically paying its women professors significantly less than their male colleagues.
Ford says the plaintiffs allege they’ve been trying to resolve the issue for at least 15 years, and the college has recently gotten less transparent about its salaries. “They used to disclose the mean and median salaries at each professional rank, and they’re no longer doing that,” she says. “So, in addition to equalizing the salaries, the professors want Vassar to make faculty salary ranges and scales public, so there’s more transparency about what people are being paid. They want Vassar to establish clear guidelines for performance and evaluation and for promotions, and they want Vassar to engage an independent body to actually facilitate the faculty salary negotiations and service expectations.”
Nearly every industry is facing a gender pay gap. But Ford says the difference here is Vassar’s history. “Its origin story is about ensuring equity between men and women,” she explains. “And if it can happen at an institution like Vassar, it can happen anywhere,and it just demonstrates how pervasive this gender pay problem is.”