Table 18 provides average years of professional experience for many of the same staffing
categories for which salary data are shown in Table 17, revealing that experience differentials
between men and women cannot account fully for the salary differentials. Women average more
experience in all but one of the categories in which they average higher pay, but there are other
categories in which women on average have more experience and less pay (Assistant Director,
Functional Specialist, and Subject Specialist are examples). Table 19 further reveals that the
average salary for men is consistently higher than the average salary for women in all ten of the
experience cohorts, a pattern that is also repeated for minority librarians: the average salary for
minority men is higher than that for minority women in 8 out of 10 experience cohorts (see Table
There is a sense that the gender gap persists in academe in areas beyond the library and that
a renewed commitment to resolve the problem is needed.6 A variety of reasons have been
offered as to why these trends persist, most notably the perception that work is peripheral in a
woman’s life and, consequently, female-dominated professions are undervalued. Librarianship
is predominantly and persistently a woman’s profession. The scarcity of men in the profession
has been well documented in many studies—the largest percentage of men employed in ARL
libraries was 38.2% in 1980-81; since then men have consistently represented about 35% of the
professional staff in ARL libraries.
In 2004, the ARL Statistics and Measurement Committee accepted a proposal from the
ACRL Personnel Administrators and Staff Development Officers Discussion Group to break
down the Functional Specialist category. The Group’s major concern was that so many different
types of positions, with their varying job descriptions and salaries, were being labeled with the
code FSPEC that data reported for the category were beginning to lose meaning. For each
position that would have been labeled FSPEC in past years, the proposal offered ARL
institutions two options: either use one of eight new codes to describe that position; or, if none of
the eight new codes could adequately describe that position, use FSPEC. As seen in Figure 3a,
almost one-fourth of Functional Specialists in all libraries did not use one of the alternative
codes. Of the 1,358 positions that did use an alternate code, 54.1% of them were Archivists or
Information Technology specialists.
There are many instances citing the continuation of gender inequity in academia. See, for example: Denise K. Manger’s articles in
the Chronicle of Higher Education, “Faculty Salaries Increased 3.7% in 1999-2000” (14 Apr. 2000: A20) and “Faculty Salaries are Up
3.6%, Double the Rate of Inflation” (23 Apr. 1999: A16); D. W. Miller, “Salary Gap Between Male and Female Professors Grows
Over the Years, Study Suggests,” Chronicle of Higher Education, Today’s News, 27 Apr. 2000, http://chronicle.com/daily/2000/
04/2000042702n.htm; and Yolanda Moses, “Salaries in Academe: The Gender Gap Persists,” Chronicle of Higher Education 12 Dec.
1997: A60.
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