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Gender pay gap in clergy higher than national average

Gender pay gap in clergy higher than national average

Religion News Service reports new national data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, showing that the gap in pay between women and men in the clergy is much greater than the average gap across the workforce:

New national data reveals that women clergy earn 76 cents for each dollar earned by male clergy. This is substantially worse than the national pay gap of 83 cents. The clergy pay gap is even more stark when compared to similar occupations.

Up until this year, national data on the clergy pay gap was unavailable. There were denominational surveys or surveys of clergy from similar faiths, but we lacked national data that would include churches and faiths left out of those surveys. Even with large surveys of churches, there was no way to make valid comparisons to the pay in other occupations.

This year, however, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported the national median income for both male and female clergy. The BLS collected data on this before, but could not make reliable estimates for women because of their relatively few numbers. The BLS was able to report these figures this year, making it possible to calculate the pay gap among clergy.

Read the summary here.

In response to similar findings, the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia will be voting January 23 on a resolution, submitted by the Reverend B. Cayce Ramey and the Reverend Deacon Mary Beth Emerson, to appoint a task force to explore and find solutions to pay imbalances. From the resolution:

Whereas, statistics from salary data for 2015 in the Diocese of Virginia reveal that women clergy are paid $.77 to every male clergy’s $1.00; and

Whereas, women constitute 44% of the 178 actively serving parish priests in the Diocese, and yet are 34% of rectors and 61% of associates (statistics for non-parochial clergy and vocational deacons were unavailable at the time of submission or would have been included); and

Whereas, only (1) woman is rector of a parish among the top 10% of parishes in the Diocese, as measured by budget, and only (2) women are rectors of parishes among the top 10% of parishes in the Diocese, as measured by ASA; and

Whereas, such inequality reflects national trends of gender disparity in salary and leadership-position statistics across professions; and

Whereas, such inequality denies the justice and equality of the Kingdom of God; now therefore be it

Resolved, that this Council support pay equity and equitable hiring practices for all women clergy in the Diocese of Virginia; and be it further

Resolved, that this 221st Council express its repentance for the systematic sexism suffered by the women of this Diocese; and be it further

Resolved, that this Council acknowledges that compensation inequity and gender imbalance in rectorships constitutes explicit injustice;…

Read the full resolution here.


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Emily Windosr

Men ten to be left-brain dominant, see opportunities to achieve goals and meet challenges head-on.

Women tend to be right-brain hemisphere dominant, see opportunities in the Body of the Members to “do right, make right, make comfortable.”

The priesthood is supposed to establish and pursue >both< goal-orientation and stasis-orientation. But if pay is not keeping up with both sides, then one or other side is challenged excessively; the level of obstacles to wholeness will need rebalancing toward leadership in principles and behavior.

I can tell this is a problem because today doctrine is running the Church, rather than behavior. Opinions today generate activity and reactivity, rather than accomplishments.

Straining over liturgical and doctrinal gnats is a fundamental prescription for division and sectarianism.

And so it goes.

Emily E

Leadership is a skill (goal-oriented) that is harder to attain than just making people comfortable and satisfied. In fact, it's the whole difference between the genders and it's the reason

Eric Bonetti

In the interests of full disclosure, I work with one of the sponsors of the resolution.

That said, how can we claim to be working toward a just society when we do not implement just practices within our church?

Jerald Liko

You know, this isn’t just a problem. It’s a sin. We must do better.

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