Report: Gender Pay Gap Opens Early


Many women graduating college aren’t making as much as men. A new study shows the gender pay gap starts early in a worker’s career.

One reason for the pay gap is that the better-paying jobs in science and technology are dominated by men. But a national study which took that and other variables into account still found a seven percent difference. Catherine Hill directs research for the American Association of University Women and co-authored the report. She says an increasing number of complaints filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission may account for a portion of the pay gap between young men and women only a year out of college, “It’s at least likely that some part of the unexplained gap may be result from discrimination. Other possible explanations: the negotiation issue.”

The study notes that women are less likely to demand a raise than men, and may be less willing to relocate. College-educated women have made more progress in diminishing the size of the pay gap compared to women with less education. But Laura Dresser says there remains a gender difference in the amount those with a bachelor’s degree will earn. Dresser is with the Center on Wisconsin Strategy, known as COWS, “A male will earn $50,000 a year at the median and a woman will earn about $44,000 at the median. So about a $6,000 pay gap for folks with bachelor’s degrees or more.”

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To help reduce the pay gap, the American Association of University Women urged young adults to consider more lucrative majors. It also urged employers to assess their pay scales.