Although most people pursue careers in science and higher education because of a deep passion for the subject rather than the potential earnings, income still matters. Unfortunately, when it comes to careers in academia and the sciences, some Wisconsin women may still be missing out when it comes to earnings. An out-of-state university recently came under fire in a workplace discrimination lawsuit that accused the institution of engaging in allegedly discriminatory compensation practices.

The female assistant professor of biochemistry and chemistry was hired by the University of Arizona back in 2002, but says that she and other female employees have not been given a raise since 2011. This is in contrast to their male peers, who received pay raises during the years that theirs stagnated. The professor pursuing the lawsuit also claims that she was recommended for a promotion to become a full professor, but that she was passed over in favor of a male candidate.

The suit also describes her work assessments as far exceeding expectations and details her exemplary publishing and research impact, the latter of which is supposedly double that of the two men who were hired around the same time as her. Despite this, she cites her income as topping out at only $100,000 by 2018. The male chemistry professor hired and later tenured around the same time was paid an annual salary of $130,500. A male professor hired one year before her currently earns $136,000.

Women unfortunately continue to earn significantly less than men when working in certain sectors or industries, even when their performance is comparable or even exceeds that of their male peers. This type of workplace discrimination can put Wisconsin women at a distinct economic disadvantage, and is otherwise simply an unfair practice. With a civil suit, workers who have been unjustly affected by discriminatory compensation practices can hold their employers accountable for these actions while also seeking just financial compensation.