Report finds occupational segregation that concentrates women and people of color in job titles that pay less than those consistently predominated by white and male city workers maintains persistent disparities 

City Hall, NY – Today, Speaker Adrienne Adams and the New York City Council released its 2024 Pay Disparity Report on wage disparities within New York City’s municipal workforce. It finds persisting gender and racial wage gaps that are largely the result of women of color being paid less, as they are concentrated in job titles that consistently provide lower wages and continue to lack access to jobs predominated by white and male employees and paying higher wages. In conjunction with the release of the report, the Council will be holding a hearing this week on the issue and legislation to address it. 

The 2024 report reveals that employees in the municipal workforce that identify as Asian, Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino and Other Race/Ethnicities (ABHLO) earn $0.84 for every $1 paid to white city employees. It also shows that for every dollar earned by white male employees, all other workers earn on average 82 cents, demonstrating that people of color – and women of color, more deeply – are experiencing the overwhelming impact of pay disparities. Female employees of color in the city’s workforce account for more than two-thirds of the overall racial pay gap of 16 cents, while male employees of color account for approximately one-third. Across the municipal workforce, female employees of color saw the smallest improvement in their pay gap between 2018 and 2021. The data also demonstrates that 95% of gender and racial pay gaps are explained by occupational segregation that concentrates women and people of color in job titles that pay less across and within agencies. 

The report includes data for municipal wages up to 2021, as maintained by the Council’s innovative Pay Equity Law (Local Law 18 of 2019), which requires the Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics (MODA) to publicly report New York City municipal employee pay data on the Office’s open source analytics library and provide the Council with direct access to the data to facilitate its own annual statistical analysis. Last year, the Council passed a package of bills to expand the 2019 law and require city agencies to conduct an analysis of compensation data and measures to address pay disparity and occupational segregation, providing greater real-time access to city employment data that will allow for more timely analysis. 

An interactive webpage with the findings is available here and the full report is here

“For our historic most diverse and women-majority Council, the fight for pay equity is personal and a priority to advance equity,” said Speaker Adrienne Adams. “Every member of our diverse workforce should be compensated fairly for their hard work, regardless of race or gender. Pay equity is not only a matter of racial, gender, and economic justice, but also fosters a culture of inclusivity and respect that improves the city’s ability to retain its talented workforce. When we invest in equal pay, we invest in the future of our city, unlocking the full potential of our diverse workers and driving sustainable growth.” 

Other key findings within the latest data, as of 2021, include: 

Agency Diversity, Occupational Segregation, and Pay Gaps 

  • Racial diversity outpaced gender diversity: of city agencies with over 100 employees, 13 saw a significant increase in the percentage of workers of color from FY 2012 to 2021, but only three saw a significant increase in women employees – only one of which had an under-representation of female employees. 
  • Several agencies’ racial/ethnic or gender compositions differ greatly from the demographics of New York City: 
  • The Department of Homeless Services (DHS), Department of Probation (DOP), Administration for Children’s Services (ACS), Department of Correction (DOC), and the Fire Department (FDNY) are the least racially diverse agencies.  
  • The Department of Sanitation (DSNY) and FDNY lack racial diversity and gender diversity, with DSNY being 9% female and 51% white, and FDNY being 12% female and 62% white 
  • Uniformed agencies (DOC, DSNY FDNY, NYPD) and those agencies related to science and technology (such as the Office of Technology and Innovation (OTI), Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), and Department of Transportation (DOT) have large within-agency gender pay gaps.  
  • While there are titles exhibiting gender parity within these agencies, most employees are concentrated in either higher paying, predominantly male positions, or lower-paying, predominantly female titles.  
  • Agencies with the highest percentage of female employees consistently have median salaries below the City workforce’s median, while those with the lowest percentage of female employees have salaries above the median. The same pattern holds for agencies with the highest and lowest percentages of employees of color. 

Disproportionate Impact of COVID-19 

  • Overall headcount reductions during COVID-19 disproportionately affected agencies that predominantly employ women or people of color.  
  • Agencies that predominantly employ women and/or people of color, such as DHS, HRA/DSS DOP, and DOE, experienced substantial reductions in headcount after COVID-19. This is especially the case for DHS, which experienced an almost 19% headcount decrease.  
  • In contrast, agencies with predominantly male and/or white employees, such as the NYPD, DSNY, DOT, FDNY, and OTI, maintained relatively stable headcounts, with decreases below 5% or increases no greater than 4%.  

Diversifying Well-Paid and Predominantly Male and White Career Tracks 

  • The Data Team’s simulation to align the gender composition of 18 well-paying, populous, predominantly male titles with the gender composition of the labor force of NYC overall resulted in a 37% reduction in the gender pay gap.  
  • Similarly, the Team’s simulation to align the racial composition of 18 well-paying, populous, predominantly white titles with the racial composition of the labor force of NYC overall resulted in a 24% reduction in the racial pay gap.  
  • Without interventions to diversify high-paying, promotional roles, or increase pay for undervalued titles, it will take decades to significantly reduce the gender and racial pay gaps in the municipal workforce. 

To address occupational segregation and eliminate pay disparities, the Council will consider legislation designed to promote greater diversity in well-paid career tracks that are predominantly held by men and white employees. The new legislation being heard at this week’s Committee on Civil Service and Labor hearing would establish a municipal career counselor within the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS), require the distribution of workplace culture surveys to municipal employees, and call for DCAS to re-examine requirements regarding the ranking of eligible candidates for promotions to better recognize highly skilled and motivated employees. 

The proposed legislation is as follows: 

Introduction 743, sponsored by Council Member Carmen De La Rosa, would require the department of citywide administrative services (DCAS) to offer career counseling to eligible municipal employees to advise them of career advancement opportunities. This bill would also require DCAS to conduct outreach to eligible employees regarding career counseling services and to create written materials to guide them. This bill would require DCAS to submit a report regarding municipal employees’ use of career counseling services and feedback the agency has received. 

Introduction 767, sponsored by Council Member Crystal Hudson, would require the department of citywide administrative services (DCAS) to create a workplace culture survey, to be completed by municipal employees annually on an anonymous and voluntary basis. The survey would ask employees about their opinions on their workplace culture, management practices, likelihood of departing the agency, and other equity-related concerns. This bill would require the commissioner of DCAS to submit a report on their findings from the survey responses. This bill would also clarify that agencies’ annual reports on their efforts to remedy pay disparities and occupational segregation should include both internal and external outreach. 

Introduction 809, sponsored by Council Member Carmen De La Rosa, would require the commissioner of the department of citywide administrative services (DCAS) to publish an annual report on its website regarding the department’s determination of promotional exam applicant eligibility. In particular, the bill would require the commissioner to report on the factors considered when making determinations to fill municipal vacancies from pools of direct line employees or to expand eligibility to collateral line employees or comparable position employees. 

Resolution 306, sponsored by Council Member Carmen De La Rosa, would call on the Department of Citywide Administrative Services to grant additional points on promotional exams to examinees who have completed the agency’s Executive Development and Management & Supervision trainings, or to examinees who have earned a degree or certificate from the City University of New York, or a similarly accredited institution. 

“As Chair of the Committee on Civil Service and Labor, we have been focused on diversifying the municipal workforce to provide opportunities in public service to all and build a municipal staff that reflects the diversity of our city,” said Council Member Carmen De La Rosa, Chair of the Committee on Civil Service and Labor. “Following the passage of our Pay Equity package, the results still indicate a gap of close to 20 cents to white employees’ dollar, due in part to occupational segregation. Equipped with our pay equity report, the Council has a better guide to address racial and gender pay gaps that are still pervasive in our public sector. We are committed to closing the gap and fostering a more equitable working environment in our city.” 

“The Pay Disparity Report released by Speaker Adrienne E. Adams reinforces that equal pay for equal work still does not exist in our municipal workforce,” said Council Member Julie Menin, Co-Chair of the Women’s Caucus. “No job should pay less because of their gender, ethnicity, or race and it is unconscionable that women of color earn only $.84 for every dollar earned by men. I applaud the Speaker for releasing such a crucial report to ensure pay equity remains a top issue for the City to address.” 

“It is unacceptable that women, workers of color, and particularly women of color are still making significantly less than their white male counterparts nearly 4 years after Local Law 18 was signed into law to track government pay data,” said Council Member Farah Louis. “For far too long this city has struggled with both gender and racial economic equity. This Council has attempted to address this issue throughout the years, including passing legislation to focus on remedying these problems on the municipal level. The Council’s report on the city’s progress on pay equity continues to show that occupational segregation remains a serious issue in our municipal workforce and that women of color are disproportionately impacted by this disparity. Breaking cycles of occupational segregation both for women contractors and women in the municipal workforce reinforces our commitment to ensuring accessibility and equity are at the forefront of pay equity initiatives.” 

“This report underscores the importance of dismantling systemic barriers that hinder women from receiving the same compensation as their male counterparts,” said Council Member Nantasha Williams, Chair of the Committee on Civil and Human Rights. “Let’s continue to advocate for policies and practices that ensure every individual receives equal pay for equal work, particularly women of color who make even less than White women. We must foster a society where gender does not determine one’s economic worth.” 

“There continues to be a dire need to pursue long-lasting solutions to address persistent gender and racial pay gaps in the municipal workforce,” said Council Member Crystal Hudson. “We have to use the tools at our disposal to examine and enforce existing pay equity laws so that we may better care for the employees that serve as the backbone of our city. Pay equity extends beyond the workplace. It means ensuring many of our city’s most marginalized communities, Black and brown women, can live with dignity. This Council has the opportunity now, to flip the script, challenge the status quo, and make sure policies advancing pay parity are not only comprehensive, but permanent in our larger struggle for justice.”  

“As Co-Chair of the Black, Latino, and Asian Caucus, I’m deeply committed to bridging the gender and racial pay gaps within our city’s diverse workforce,” said Council Member Kevin C. Riley. “The annual Pay Disparity Report shines a light on the real struggles endured by dedicated individuals who are unfairly compensated for their hard work in service to our city. Women earn $0.835 for every dollar earned by men, and particularly, if non-white women were paid the same as men, this gap would shrink by 85%, amplifying the exacerbated effects for women in communities of color. Alongside Speaker Adrienne Adams and my fellow Council colleagues, I echo the urgent call to action, ensuring our city’s workforce reflects the equities we advocate for, fostering fairness and inclusion.” 

“The fact that low pay of non-white female employees accounts for large portions of pay disparities within the municipal workforce is nothing new. We have known for years that women, especially Black and brown women, have not been paid equally to their male counterparts doing the same work,” said CWA Local 1180 President Gloria Middleton. “It’s long past time for agencies to be held accountable for their pay treatment of women. We look forward to working with the City Council to strengthen laws that will finally level the paying field for everyone, regardless of gender.”