Council to discuss pay disparity and workplace culture

by Jillian Riseman and Adrian Paul Bryant, CivicLex Weekly

LEXINGTON, Ky.–On Tuesday, the General Government and Planning (GGP) Committee will hear the results of a pay comparison study. The pay comparison study, conducted by Management Advisory Group, Intl., examined whether or not employee salaries differed significantly by race/ethnicity, gender, and any other factors that may lead to significant pay gaps.

Here’s some of what the study found:

  • Raw data shows significant differences in pay between white and Black workers in roles categorized as Service/Maintenance and Skilled Craft, with white workers having a higher average base pay.
  • Raw data also shows differences in pay between male and female employees in Official/Administration, Professional, and Service/Maintenance roles. Female employees have higher average salaries in Official/Administrative roles.
  • Once the pay grade of employees — which defines the salary range of each specific job — was considered, no significant pay gaps existed among any demographics in LFUCG.

More information will likely be shared in the presentation to the GGP Committee.

Diversity and Inclusion Workshop Review

The GGP Committee will also hear a review of the goals and outcomes of LFUCG’s Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) trainings. These trainings came at the recommendation of the Racial Justice & Equality Commission in 2020, and were conducted by Millennium Learning Concepts in Spring 2022.

1,515 employees across all of LFUCG, including elected officials, participated in D&I trainings between March 17th and April 20th, 2022. Over 700 employees provided feedback on how they felt about the trainings, and LFUCG’s workplace culture at large, after completion.

Here’s some of what the feedback said:

  • 43% of respondents felt that diversity is only for “political correctness or show.”
    • Employees aged 18-34 largely felt that diversity is an empty gesture.
  • When asked if LFUCG instituted equal pay across demographics, 35% of women said yes, compared to 64% of men. 28% of Black employees said yes, compared to 60% of white employees.
  • When asked if employees felt there were safe ways to voice grievances, 61% of men said yes, compared to 45% of women.
  • When asked if they felt comfortable being themselves, 60% of men claimed they did, compared to 47% of women.

The study recommends a variety of ways to improve the work culture of LFUCG, including a D&I workshop specifically for managerial employees, a comprehensive review of HR policies, including D&I statements across all divisions in LFUCG, and performing a workplace climate survey of employees every two years. Several of these recommendations have been implemented or are already in the works.

You can review both of these GGP Committee presentations here.

The General Government & Planning Committee will meet on Tuesday, October 17th at 1:00 pm in Council Chambers. You can attend this hearing in person or watch live on LexTV.

CivicLex is a nonprofit working to improve the civic health of Fayette County, Kentucky. Their work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.

Photo by The Lexington Times.