SAIT gender and pay equity

Originally posted 9 August 2017

In this post we examine gender pay equity at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT).  The government’s sunshine legislation allows for more in-depth analysis by job category and salary. Each reporting entity must disclose the total compensation and other compensation for the calendar years by the following June 30th. The results below need to be taken with some caution since the data does not indicate how long the person has been in a position.  Longevity in a position usually means the individual is near the top of the salary grid for the position. While the mandated public disclosure includes the Board Chair and members of the Board of Governors, these persons were excluded since they are unpaid and part-time positions. Thus, the analysis essentially applies to full time positions.

Overall from 2015 to 2016, the number of females in the higher paid positions (over $125,000 for 2015 and over $126,375 in 2016) went from 27 per cent to 32 per cent- a meaningful increase.

image001

Interestingly the totals in the disclosure population for SAIT went from 140 (102 Male and 38 Female) to 101 in 2016 (69 Male and 32 Female).

image002

This chart below shows that the reduction in positions that earned more than the $126,375 threshold in 2016 was for instructors (-20), academic chairs (-9) and managers (-4).

SAIT15-16 position reduction

Average Compensation

Average compensation levels from 2015 to 2016 rose from $151,807 to $153,900 or by  1.4 per cent.  This finding, along with fewer employees, suggests that SAIT is “downsizing” with a strategy of fewer, but more highly paid, individuals.

Average compensation for females at SAIT actually fell slightly from $146,559 to $146,069 while pay for males rose from $154,134 to $158,428 or by 2.8 per cent.

The table below shows the breakdown by gender and position

Year

2015

Average of Compensation
Gender/Position  Female   Male   Total 
President & CEO  $  489,071.37  $  489,071.37
CFO & Senior VP  $  336,632.82  $  336,632.82
Associate Vice-President  $          195,055.24  $  239,836.25  $  220,644.39
Vice President  $  201,646.44  $  201,646.44
Dean  $  188,669.48  $  188,669.48
Director  $          164,744.25  $  188,593.27  $  177,993.70
Executive Director  $          161,516.58  $  161,516.58
Associate Director  $          141,482.60  $  157,391.41  $  143,755.29
Associate Dean  $          143,313.42  $  140,772.37  $  142,678.16
Manager  $          142,484.85  $  140,104.11  $  141,346.23
Instructor  $          155,628.30  $  136,532.14  $  137,929.42
Academic Chair  $          132,019.87  $  133,498.81  $  133,115.39
Assistant Registrar  $  129,301.53  $  129,301.53
Senior Development Officer  $             86,741.18  $    86,741.18
Business Development Manager  $    64,054.68  $    64,054.68
Grand Total  $          146,558.58  $  154,133.79  $  151,807.12

From the above table, the most senior positions are populated by men. At the lower levels ( Academic Chair, Manager), pay equity is apparent.  For both years, female instructors at SAIT on average are paid more than male instructors an interesting finding. But  the average pay for female instructors at SAIT fell dramatically between 2015 and 2016 by 12.3 per cent.  This suggests an exodus of relatively high paid female instructors from SAIT.

Still at the Associate Dean level and higher levels disparities in pay become evident. These discrepancies are significant based on two factors: (1) females do not get these higher paid jobs and (2) if they do, their pay is lower. As noted, the longevity factor is unknown. As women may take time off from work for child care and elder care reasons, these might explain some of the disparities. Another factor at SAIT could be that, until quite recently, technology and science education and training did not attract many women into this vocational area. The final table shows the average salary in the sunshine list for 2016.

Average of Compensation

 2016

Gender/Position  Female   Male   Grand Total 
President & CEO  $  479,538.20  $  479,538.20
Chief Financial Officer  $  442,551.60  $  442,551.60
Vice President  $  290,120.58  $  290,120.58
Associate Vice-President  $          171,859.53  $  211,523.73  $  188,858.47
Director  $          171,270.17  $  184,304.17  $  178,511.28
Executive Director  $          164,200.38  $  164,200.38
Dean  $  156,282.63  $  156,282.63
Associate Director  $          139,376.37  $  151,516.98  $  142,845.12
Associate Dean  $          143,222.47  $  137,637.23  $  141,826.16
Manager  $          137,497.01  $  137,788.41  $  137,635.04
Instructor  $          136,229.33  $  130,809.85  $  131,325.99
Academic Chair  $          132,838.60  $  129,474.68  $  130,409.10
Grand Total  $          146,069.13  $  158,427.55  $  153,900.21

The information made available for the public, including the media, labour unions, and academics is a gold mine of information pointing to the relative shifts in employment and salary levels within organizations.  But caution is advised. Aggregate data is the summation of individual circumstances and large changes in small populations might lead on to make inaccurate judgments.

Summary

A critical policy question for decision-makers (i.e. politicians) is whether sunshine lists are a good thing. Salary used to be a closely guarded secret but led to wide-ranging disparities especially between genders. Sunshine lists exposed these disparities which has  been the principal benefit of shining light on salary and benefits payments.  On the other hand, sunshine legislation has been criticized because it has led to salary escalation in both the private and public spheres.

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