Maneater Long Reads: Working While Female

Women are underrepresented in city of Columbia leadership positions, and they are paid proportionately less. The issue isn’t clear cut, though — and city leadership is working to bridge the gender gap.

Two years into John Blattel’s tenure as the city of Columbia’s director of finance, he was already making $2,000 more than his predecessor Lori Fleming.

Having held the position for 15 years, Fleming was making an annual salary of $118,712 when she stepped down, according to records obtained from the City of Columbia Department of Information Services. Blattel now takes home $123,502.

While women made up on average 36 percent of the city's leadership between fiscal years 2009 and 2014, they only took home 30 percent of the income according to payroll data from the city of Columbia. That gap translates to a total loss of $705,534.

The city's leadership is aware of this inequality and is taking strides to overcome it, and directors say the pay gap is more complicated than just outright discrimination.

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