Racial Disparities in Pay Persist in Higher Education

A new study from the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR) finds that there remains a significant pay gap for people of color in staff and faculty positions at colleges and universities in the United States.

Pay disparities for women administrators of all races/ethnicities persist. All female administrators except for Asian women continue to receive lower salaries overall than do White men who hold the same position. In contrast, men of color, except for Native American/Alaska Native men, are generally paid salaries greater than those of White men.

Women of all races/ethnicities in professional positions at colleges and universities are paid less than their male counterparts. In addition, Hispanic/Latino men, Native Hawaiian men, and men of two or more races are paid less than White men.

Staff employees have a higher representation of people of color than any other higher ed employee group. This is notable in that staff positions are the lowest-paying positions in higher ed. Women of color represent about 19 percent of all higher ed staff, and men of color represent about 13 percent of all higher ed staff. Pay equity is the same or worse now than in 2017 for Black women, Hispanic/Latina women, women of two or more races, and White women. Men of color in staff positions fare considerably better than women of color when it comes to pay equity.

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