Employees working in a Port of Los Angeles office.
Employees working in a Port of Los Angeles office. Photo courtesy of the Port of Los Angeles.

Women Are Underrepresented, Underpaid in L.A. City’s Workforce

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According to a report from L.A. City Controller Ron Galperin, women are underrepresented and underpaid in the city’s workforce.

“Not enough women work at the City, and those that do aren’t getting the promotional opportunities they should,” Galperin said in a statement, asserting that the city needs to overhaul how women are recruited, hired, promoted and paid.

The report found that of the 54,317 city employees counted over the most recent annual period, 29% were women. This figure hasn’t increased since 2015, which the report points out is when Mayor Eric Garcetti issued an executive directive for gender equality. It’s also pretty low compared to Los Angeles County, where women make up 44% of the workforce.

Women account for 3% of sworn Los Angeles Fire Department employees; 4% of building inspectors; 18% of sworn Los Angeles Police Department employees; 22% of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power employees; and 21% of employees within the Department of General Services. Galperin noted that in the L.A. Controller’s office, 65% of employees are women.

When it came to their salaries, the report found that women who work for the city make, on average, 76% of what men make. Women’s annual salaries averaged $90,058, whereas men made an average of $118,454. The average full-time city employee, excluding those working for the LADWP, makes $46 an hour. When you account for gender, men make $47 an hour while women earn $44 an hour. Men also earned 91% of the $884 million the city paid out in overtime.

Just two of the top 100 earners among City of Los Angeles employees last year were women. They include a chief legislative analyst and the general manager of the Los Angeles World Airports — the department that owns and operates LAX and the Van Nuys Airport — and ranked 23rd and 28th, respectively. Fun fact: The highest-paid city employee was a chief port pilot.

It’s worth noting that the current payroll system only offers two gender options — female or male — but the city is moving to a different system that allows for other choices. Thus, this data may not reflect every city employee’s actual gender identity, nor does it give us any information about any pay disparities that may exist outside of a gender binary.

To create a more balanced workforce, Galperin recommends coming up with a strategic plan to recruit, hire and retain more women as well as forming a group of city officials and community and labor partners who will focus on career pathways for women. He also recommends requiring the largest departments to submit an annual report on their efforts and progress.

You can read the complete report here.

Los Angeleno