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Princeton Agrees to Pay 1.2 Million for Gender Wage Disparity

The U.S. Department of Labor Office of Federal Contract Compliance (DOL) reviewed the wages paid to Princeton’s full professors. Preliminary findings from that investigation showed wage disparities for 106 female full professors between the years 2012 and 2014. These disparities violate an Executive Order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating in employment based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin. Data from the Chronicle of Higher Education show that Princeton’s female full professors earned approximately $235,0000 in 2018 compared to its male full professors who earned $253,000.

Princeton University did not admit any wrongdoing, asserting that it agreed to the resolution to “avoid lengthy and costly litigation and its impact on faculty and the university.” A Princeton spokesperson told the New York Times that the DOL’s investigation used a flawed statistical model that “bore no resemblance to how the university actually hires, evaluates and compensates its faculty.” Princeton conducted its own investigation that compared professors' salaries within the same departments, and it revealed no pay disparities between genders. In addition to the $1.2 million in back wages, the university will review faculty salaries at the time of hire and during annual reviews to assess pay equity, seek to hire women in traditionally poorly represented fields, and encourage women to serve in leadership positions.