Graduate Blog

Male Graduates Still Earn More than Female Graduates with the Same Degree

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graph chart statisticsNew statistics show that there is up to an £8,000 pay gap between male and female graduates who have obtained the same degree from university. Nearly 20% of male graduates are earning over £30,000, with just 8% of females earning the same amount.

The results were produced by the University of Warwick’s Institute for Employment having been commissioned by the Higher Education Careers Service Unit (HECSU) and analysed 17,000 full-time graduate salaries from 2012.

Despite continued efforts and laws for equal opportunities in order to reduce this salary gap between the genders, these latest findings indicate that there is still a long way to go before equality is achieved. The Davies report produced in 2011 called for larger firms to have a better representation of female staff, with the gender pay gap then falling to below 10% in the November.

Nevertheless, the results obtained by HECSU’s research show that the gender pay gap is still there and in some cases it is vast. For example, a female graduate could find themselves earning nearly £8,000 less than what a male graduate will receive, with salaries just over £20,000. This difference continues to exist even though more females had applied to do a law degree than males in those that were surveyed.

These gaps were also found across a range of degree subjects, with a 4.3% pay gap for those entering education, with males receiving £22,661 and females £21,679 on average. In medicine, females can earn up to 9% less than their male counterparts, whilst women who studied physical science were earning £3,626 less.

Speaking about these results, HECSU director of research, Jane Artess (the report’s author) commented: “Equal opportunity to access jobs and pay has been enshrined in legislation for 40 years yet Futuretrack found that being female can make a difference to a graduate’s earning power. Despite having the same Ucas entry tariff points, attending the same type of institution and studying the same subject, men are commanding higher salaries than women.

“It is difficult to see why male and female graduates of the same subject discipline do not achieve very similar earnings. Since this is unlikely to be a consequence of employers paying males and females doing the same job differently – as this would be unlawful – we infer that something else is happening to account for this.”

She went on to say; “One rather more heartening finding is that satisfaction with career to date does tend to improve with higher salaries, and this was particularly so for women.”

The study also highlighted gender gaps in the number of people going on to higher education to study certain subjects. For example, 10.9% of males surveyed had applied to do computer sciences or maths, with just 2.1% of females applying to do the same. Just 2% of females surveyed had applied for engineering courses compared to 13% of males. The more popular subjects for females were medicine, biology, science and veterinary education.

The University of Warwick’s research team also said: “Patterns of subject choices remain stubbornly gendered even though female participation in higher education has grown more rapidly than for males and, on average, women’s entry qualifications surpass those of men.

“What is harder to understand is the persistence of the gender pay gap among graduates. This remains effectively unchanged from the situation in the 1990s. Certain professions, notably law, remain male-dominated and show limited results from any efforts they have made to ensure greater equality of opportunity.”

Other research produced last month suggested that prospects for graduates should improve, with a rise in the average wage and number of roles available. Deputy director of research at HECSU, Charlie Ball said: “Most people start their careers outside London on less than £20,000. Most new graduates will get jobs, but not on large graduate training schemes, rather with small businesses and local firms.”

Share your thoughts with us on the gender gaps evident in graduate recruitment.

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