June 01 ,2015 | by Erin O’Neill

Statistics show gap between male and female graduate salaries at 17%

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A new study reveals that female graduates could be earning 17% less than male counterparts. Why are women at a disadvantage in the work place?

The new data, crowdsourced from over 49,000 individuals, revealed a number of statistics illustrating the pay gap between the genders.

CEO of Emolument.com, Thomas Drewry said: “The gender gap in salaries is a real issue in the UK today, and only by having a level of transparency will we start addressing the problem.”

Whilst this year marks 40 years since the government put in place the country’s first Sex Discrimination Act, inequality is still rife in the workplace.

Women of a certain age are often overlooked amid fears of future maternity leave, whilst many mothers returning to work are considered unfit for the job after their time off.

Mr. Drewry added: “Taking the decision to go to university or study for an MBA is a huge investment in terms of both time and money, so it is important for people to consider what their earning potential might be when they have graduated.”

Inequality not a thing of the past

Statistics identified that students from University College London had the biggest gap between male and female salaries, with men earning 21% more than their female classmates within five years of graduation.

Oxford and Cambridge weren’t far behind, with men earning 14% and 19% more respectively.

Neil Atkinson, Managing Director of HR and Employment Law specialists Deminos said: “There’s no doubt we’ve come a long way since the times when discrimination was commonplace when it came to women getting an education and finding a job.”

“The sad reality is inequality is not a thing of the past. A recent survey found a third of managers would rather hire a man in his 20s or 30s rather than a woman the same age because of fears over maternity leave, and parental demands which we tend to think of as a woman’s responsibility.”

Women receiving bonuses 46% smaller

Further statistics showed that overall earnings for MBA students, with bonuses factored in, brought the gap to a massive 26%, with women receiving discretionary bonuses 46% smaller than their male colleagues.

This could highlight a differing approach from managers towards men and women during bonus negotiations.

Mr Atkinson said: “While it’s impossible to generalise, there have been several studies which have found men are more likely to ask for a pay rise or a promotion. Business leaders need to tune their ear accordingly, focusing on individual employees’ skills and performance, and not wait for a request.”

Despite the progress made in the past forty years, there are still negative attitudes towards women engrained in the modern workplace; being overlooked for senior roles, maternity fears, and a lack of gender integration in male dominated fields are still commonplace.

Mr Atkins added: “Employers may lay themselves open to claims of discrimination or unfairness by failing to watch out for any untended bias in their promotion or hiring practices.”

“An employer should think about creating an atmosphere at work where employees know that it’s okay to ask for what they want.”

Erin O’Neill

Erin O’Neill is an LSBF News Writer who reports on small business, careers, technology and education news.

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