And by low, I mean low compared to similar and some worse-published (men) in my department and field. (I am making more than the non-research active people in my dept). I am still incredibly privileged and my salary still leaves me a little shocked.
Still, even if I’m making more money than I ever dreamed of as a child, I should still be paid fairly.
And I wasn’t. So I complained up and down in my annual review. I talked about my cv and the work I do for the dept and the fact that although I have never gone on the market, people ask me to apply to schools. I complained about how my (male) colleague who used to have the same salary that I did whose cv is similar to mine (but not quite as good) is making quite a bit more than I am despite his never having gotten an outside offer. I mentioned the fact that I’m making less than our new hires straight out of grad school, even though all the male associate profs are making quite a bit more.
So my chair and dean talked and they agreed. They noted that although I didn’t have the lowest salary in the dept, I’m in the bottom 20%, and I noted that of the people making less than me, none of them are research active.
They can’t give more than 10% raises a year without something extraordinary happening. So they said I get 10% this year and if I complain again they will do their best to give me 10% next year. If I want more I would need to go on the market because they are allowed to match outside offers. He also mentioned that I was one of two women in the dept with this complaint and she would also be getting the same deal (pretty sure the other one makes just a little more than I do and also has an obviously better cv than the above-mentioned guy).
So where does this put me? After the first raise I’ll *still* be making about 7K less than the male colleague mentioned above is making this year. Presumably he’ll get a raise this year as well. So I’ll still be behind. But 10% is better than 3% (is better than 2% is better than 0%).
I probably should go on the market, but I’d prefer not to. Still, I’ll probably actually look at the listings this year even though I usually don’t.
So… is there a moral? Well, sometimes complaining works. If it doesn’t work, then it might not be a place worth staying.