One year after college graduation women working full time earn less–82 percent on average–than male counterparts, the American Association of University Women finds in “Graduating to a Pay Gap,” a study released Oct. 24. This is slightly higher than it was in 2001 when, among the same group, women earned just 80 percent of what their male peers earned. Women working full time earned $35,296 on average, versus $42,918 for male counterparts. Business was the most popular major for both men (27 percent) and women (19 percent), but female graduates in this sector earned just over $38,000, while men earned just over $45,000.
The study shows that differences in job type and hours explain part of the pay gap, but about one-third of the gap remains unexplained, suggesting that bias and discrimination are still problems in the workplace.
What Can Employers Do?
In light of the findings, authors recommend that employers:
- Increase transparency in pay systems
- Ensure clear structures for evaluation
- Conduct internal pay equity studies and
- Take steps to address any gender disparities.
The analysis is based on data of about 15,000 students who received a bachelor’s degree between July 1, 2007, and June 30, 2008, and were tracked by “Baccalaureate and Beyond a longitudinal study” by the National Center for Education Statistics at the U.S. Department of Education.