Mind the gap


My apologies…

First, for going into denominationally specific topics. Those who are from other denominations, I would love to hear from you. And please let me know if there are studies in other denominations related to equal pay.

Second, for not making much sense. I have a cold, and I took some medicine that usually makes me feel better. At night. But, it’s daytime. I’ve slept a lot, and now I’m just kind of groggy and dizzy and awake and not making much sense….

But I did want to add a bit of an addendum to my last post, lifting up some of the pay equity facts in this report.

Full-time pastors, with 10 or less years of service, interesting facts:

•The wage gap is less with smaller churches (which makes sense, they are closer to the minimum), the gap gets larger with larger churches.

•There are more men at churches with 50 members or less (80% are men, 20% are women)

•Most women Solos and Heads of Staff serve congregations with 51 to 200 members.

•The worst gap is with women, who pastor churches with 501 to 1,000 members. Women make $50,038 and men make $71,128 (a whopping 21K difference).

Full-time pastors with 11 or more years of service, highlights:

•The most interesting thing is that there are not many women in this category. They make up 22% of the people serving churches of 50 or less, but that’s their strongest showing.

•Women make up less than 1% of pastors of churches of 1,500 members or more.

•Again, the pay gap is less with smaller churches, and it gets higher with larger ones. Men make about $7,000 more than women in churches from 201-1,000. Men make almost $14,000 more at churches from 1,001 to 1,500.

Full-time Associates:

•There are more male Associates than female Associates.

•Again, the worst gap is with the 1,500+ congregations. There is a $6,000 gap between the men and the women.

What can we learn? Well, I guess if you’re a woman who’s going to a larger church, then negotiate, negotiate, negotiate.

6 thoughts on “Mind the gap

  1. Carol,

    Thanks for sharing this resource. Some interesting facts but I wonder if it isn’t necessarily gender that is causing some of the differences but other facts too.

    “Women are less likely to be pastors than are
    men, and more likely to be interim pastors or temporary supply clergy.”

    I keep thinking about a few women colleagues who are intentional interim ministers. While it is not the call for me, they see some of their pastoral care gifts being used in ways that would not happen in a “regular” call. When I was looking for my present call, I wanted to be a solo pastor, but in a church where I felt I could know people so I picked a small 150 member congregation. It was more my style than a larger one.

    Thanks for keep challenging us to be a just denomination.

  2. After reading Carol’s post last week on the pay gap and her discussion with Dr. Joseph Stewart-Sicking in which she included his Loyoala University website, I contacted him about his findings. He was kind enough to reply immediately and I think his work will show similar trends in the Episcopal Church to what the PC(USA) survey found.

    He wrote that he is giving a preliminary report on his large survey (N=2500) for the Episcopal Church’s General Convention next month and will report his research also at the October 2009 meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion in Denver. He listed some of the emerging issues in his email. One emerging issue, which relates to Martha Williams Jordan’s comments above, is “women seem to be more affected by the intrinsic meaningfulness of their jobs in the church whereas men’s satisfaction and well-being is related to financial well-being and seeing things as a step on the career ladder.”(quote from his email to me June 11, 2009). It will be interesting to see if his complete analysis of the data bears this out.

  3. Has anyone else noticed that the time stamps on our comments are 4 hours off? I am writing at 6:40 PM EST and the time stamp on my comment is 10:41 PM.

    Just wondered about this gap.

    • Oh yeah… it’s set on Greenwich Mean Time (I think). I was getting up really early in the morning and write my book (like 4:30ish), and when I wasn’t writing the book, I didn’t want to get out of the discipline of writing early, so I was blogging that early. The blog was set on GMT, and I just kept it on there to avoid a lot of questions about why on earth I was up so early blogging… Now, I think most people know my writing schedule, but I just still haven’t changed it.

      Long answer, I know.

  4. I came across some other information pertinent to this discussion on the June 12, 2009 “Washington Update” from the AAUW Public Policy & Government Relations Dept. email that I receive weekly from them. I checked out the research article “Getting a Job: Is there a Motherhood Penalty?” and it is in the March 2007 “American Journal of Sociology” (published by Univ. of Chicago).

    I wonder how much motherhood affects women pastor’s salaries? Any thoughts? I could not find data on this in the PC(USA) gender pay gap study “God’s Work in Women’s Hands: Pay Equity and Just Compensation”, which I have printed out.

    Here is the quote from my June 12, 2009 AAUW email:

    “The Motherhood Penalty
    The study recently awarded the 2008 Rosabeth Moss Kanter Award for Excellence in Work-Family Research found that mothers suffer a substantial wage penalty compared to childless women, fathers, and childless men. In fact, the wage gap between mothers and non-mothers is even greater than the wage gap between women and men. Authors of Getting a Job: Is There a Motherhood Penalty? used fake resumes with equal credentials, different only in the parental status of the applicant, in order to test the effect motherhood has on the likelihood to be called back for an interview or hired. They found that mothers were consistently rated as less competent and less committed than non-moms. Mothers were offered an average of $11,000 less per year and were 100% less likely to be recommended for hire than the equally qualified but childless candidate. On the flip side, fathers were rated more positively by potential employers than non-fathers. Shelley Correll, one of the authors of the study, commented, “I was not surprised to find that mothers were discriminated against, but I was very surprised by the magnitude of the discrimination.”

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