Date of Conferral





Public Policy and Administration


Heather Mbaye


Irrespective of professional experience and educational background, gender pay disparity is a problem in the federal government. Women have to overcome salary barriers, such as agency segregation, position segregation, and invisible barriers known as the glass ceiling and the glass wall. Recent studies have indicated that human capital variables, people skills, discrimination, and policies all contribute to gender pay disparity in America's workforce. However, there are limited studies that focus on the indirect factors that also contribute to gender pay inequality. The purpose of this quantitative research was to investigate the relationship between wages and job responsibility (as defined by an employee's job series) for all federal employees within the GS14 pay grade working in the state of Virginia. The data source for this retrospective study came from the December 2014 archived federal employee records that were retrieved from the Office of Personnel Management website. Ordinary least square regression modeling was used to analyze the data collected from the Office of Personnel Management central personnel data file. The results from the data analysis demonstrated a significant relationship between job responsibility and wages. The results from the data analysis demonstrated that men earned higher wages than did their female counterparts and were given more authority in the technical and professional job series. This study promotes positive social change because it confirms and extends understanding of the gender wage gap in the federal workforce. The findings from this research encourage policy makers to revisit existing policies and implement new policies aimed at ensuring women receive pay equal to their male counterparts.