Gender and workforce pay equity take center stage at City Council

Gender and workforce pay equity took center stage at City Hall Tuesday when the City Council received the annual “Ethnicity & Gender Diversity Report.”

The report, presented by Aimée Z. Barnes, the City’s Diversity and Equity Manager, provides a snapshot of the City’s workforce and its ongoing efforts to improve its hiring practices and better reflect the community it services.

While the report showed the City has gained ground in becoming more diverse and inclusive, it also found that “a lot more work has to be done,” Barnes said.

One area that needs to be looked at “with great urgency” is gender diversity and workforce pay equity, Barnes said.

Women currently represent approximately 30% of the City’s 3,777 full-time employees but are 51% of the City’s population. The City’s goal is to have its workforce with -10% or +10% of those overall demographics. In 2018, the City of Sacramento hired 35% women.

gender graph

The report also found that full-time women at the City earn on average $11,501 less a year than men. However, the salary of men and women within the same classifications and the same number of years in the organization was within 10% of each other 98% of the time, it said.

The numbers drew comment from Mayor Pro Tem Angelique Ashby, the City Council’s only female member. Citing statistics in the report, she observed that the under-representation of women — especially women of color — grows even more acute when examining the City’s managerial ranks.

“When you are not recognized, you don’t feel valued,” said Ashby, who worked with the City Auditor in 2015 to develop Sacramento’s first gender report card and has helped to create a women’s leadership team that mentors female City employees and helps them grow and advance in their careers.

Barnes said that men are over-represented in several of the city’s largest departments, including public safety, and those jobs tend to be higher paying.  The report recommended several action items and strategies to improve ethnic and gender diversity at the City, including a new Recruitment and Hiring Manual developed with Human Resources and more bias training. The Council approved the recommendations Tuesday.

“(Change) may take much longer than we would like, but I am determined to keep us moving in the direction of progress,” Ashby said.

Better data collection also would help the City in its efforts to become more fair and equitable in its hiring, Barnes said. For example, approximately 36% of all City employee data do not indicate levels of educational attainment.

Councilmember Steve Hansen requested that future data collection better capture and represent the City’s LGBTQ employees. “They look into this world and cannot see themselves,” he said.

%d bloggers like this: