On Aug. 5, Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin released a report on gender equity in the city’s workforce, “Closing the Gap: Women’s Pay and Representation at the City of L.A.”
Galperin found that Los Angeles has fallen short of its goals to recruit and hire more women, and to promote women into well-paying jobs. Despite attempts to change the status quo over the past five years, women remain both underrepresented and underpaid compared to their male coworkers.
“The city employs almost 50,000 public servants, but the striking gender gap in our workforce does not reflect the communities we serve or the values we promote,” Galperin said. “Not enough women work at the city, and those that do aren’t getting the promotional opportunities they should. The city needs to overhaul the way women are recruited, hired, promoted and paid. Only by acting more aggressively to address the vast disparities that exist today will Los Angeles start to close its pay and representation gap, and provide women with better opportunities to succeed in the future.”
According to a 2018 Census Bureau study, women earn less than 82 cents for every dollar earned by men in the United States. While the gap is slightly narrower in California, the city of Los Angeles – one of the region’s largest employers – has not kept pace with the state or the nation.
Women working at the city earn, on average, just 76% of what men make.
Women represent only 28% of L.A.’s total workforce – the same amount as in 2015 when the mayor’s office issued an executive directive to improve gender equity across city departments, and much lower than New York City, San Francisco, Philadelphia, L.A. County and other large public employers across the country.
Within some of the city’s largest departments, women’s representation is even worse: 22% at the Department of Water and Power, 23% at the Department of Public Works and 21% at the Department of General Services. In contrast, 65% of all controller’s office employees are women.
Out of 18 elected officials in the city of Los Angeles, only two are women.
Galperin recommended the city develop a strategic plan with clear and specific goals and targets to recruit, hire, develop and retain women in departments across the city; create a working group of city officials and community and labor partners to design a clear pathway to help women participate in all job classifications and promotional opportunities, focused especially on higher paying jobs with access to overtime; and require the largest city departments to submit annual reports on their efforts to attract more women to entry level jobs that traditionally have been dominated by men.
For information, visit lacontroller.org/genderequity.
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