Female and non-Dutch academic staff lag behind in terms of rank and salary

Teresa Bago d’Uva, Associate Professor of Health Economics and Diversity Officer at Erasmus School of Economics, and Pilar García-Gómez, Associate Professor of Applied Economics, have researched differences in rank and salary between female and male, as well as Dutch and non-Dutch academic staff at Erasmus School of Economics. Based on data from 2014 to 2018, they find that the ranks and salaries of female and international academics tend to be lower.

The two researchers used data from the HR database of Erasmus School of Economics from the years 2014 to 2018. Because there were no female full professors with a permanent employment in the period of investigation, Bago d’Uva and García-Gómez were only able to assess pay differences between male and female employees up to the rank of endowed professor.

Considerable differences in rank

The research found large differences in rank between professors. There were only three female endowed professors, compared to eighteen male ones. In other higher ranks, they found very few females and non-Dutch male professors. The differences in rank may be partly explained by the fact that the non-Dutch and female groups are younger and were hired more recently. After controlling for these influences, the researchers find that the probability of being an associate or endowed professor is 39% on average for Dutch males. This probability is around 10 percentage points lower for non-Dutch males, 13 percentage points lower for Dutch females and 16 percentage points lower for non-Dutch females.

Differences in salaries and bonuses

They also find significant differences in gross monthly salaries between both female and male, Dutch and non-Dutch academic staff. The average salary of Dutch female employees is 167 euros lower than the average salary of their male counterparts. Compared to the salaries of Dutch male employees, the salaries of non-Dutch males lie 323 euros lower and the salaries of non-Dutch female employees 404 euros. They also identify differences in the probability of receiving a bonus. They distinguish between monthly bonuses and a one-off bonus, which is a recognition for an achievement. They find that on average, 13% of Dutch male employees receive a monthly bonus and 23% a one-off bonus. The average probability of receiving a monthly bonus is at least 46% lower for females, compared to both Dutch and non-Dutch males. The probability of receiving a one-off bonus is at least 52% lower for all groups compared to Dutch males.

Possible explanations

A reason for why female and non-Dutch staff lag behind in terms of rank and salary, could be the barriers females face which contribute to a lower likelihood to study and start a career in economics. Another reason could be biases in teaching evaluations which influence promotion chances, or the limited access to mentoring, lack of role models and a hostile environment for females and other minorities in the economics profession. The research also mentions that it is important to take other factors into account, such as non-Dutch staff being affected by the costs of adapting to a new country and work environment.

Important message

The research calls for immediate policy attention and the results carry an important message. It is very important for organisations and departments to ensure that their employees are aware of their possible future career steps and ensure that motherhood does not affect the career paths of females. Supervisors, managers and committee members must be made aware of the existing differences and the biases and barriers that contributed to these differences.

Associate professor
Associate professor
More information

The full publication from ESB, can be downloaded above.

Want to know more about the research? Read the interview Teresa Bago d’Uva and Pilar García-Gómez, which can be downloaded above (in Dutch). 

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