Female Students Have Less Well Paid Jobs on Average, Report Finds

Women are more likely to focus on job security, work-life balance, company culture and opportunity to contribute to a meaningful purpose when searching for a job, a new report published by the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI), focusing on gender pay gap among graduates, has revealed.

On the other hand, the report has shown that for men, the high salary is one factor of a good job.

The report, titled Mind the (Graduate Gender Pay) Gap, by Bethan Cornell, Rachel Hewitt and Bahram Bekhradnia analyzes the changes of graduate gender pay gap over the years, Erudera College News reports.

According to the report’s findings, the overall graduate gender gap is not related to the field of study, type of university, prior achievements, social background or ethnicity.

The study has found that men prefer being geographically mobile, which could boost their career prospects, but it is unlikely that increasing women mobility could reduce the difference in earning.

Men seem to be more focused on their career search compared to women, as they plan their careers while they are still at university, submit more applications and are more likely to continue with applications.

Differently, women are more likely to secure a job after an interview and are unlikely to remain unemployed after leaving university.

“This may in part be because they are more efficient in their job-seeking, but it could equally reflect the fact that they are less ambitious in the jobs they apply for,” the report points out.

In addition, the report has also found that:

  • women are more likely to work part-time jobs during and after university, while men are more likely to begin an internship during their degree
  • both men and women are equally satisfied with their jobs, but women are less paid on average
  • women have lower expectations on payment than men

HEPI’s President and Founder and co-author of the report, Bahram Bekhradnia, said that the report did not focus on educational and societal influences and limitations on attitudes and choices made by men and women, each.

“The critical conclusion arising from this study is that to make judgements about the value of universities and their programmes on the basis of the salaries earned by graduates is badly misguided and is ultimately sexist in its implications and effects,” he said.

Moreover, the report includes several recommendations, such as:

  1. In order to empower students in their career planning, so they can make the right decisions, higher educational institutions should provide information regarding the graduate gender pay gap.
  2. Universities must work towards assisting female students in undertaking internships.
  3. Russell Group, along with specialist institutions, should check out reasons why there is a large pay inequality between male and female graduates from their institutions as well as take the necessary actions to address these concerns.
  4. Employers working under equal opportunities legislation should tend to offer internship and networking opportunities for women.
  5.  The relative pay of both male and female graduates should be included as an indicator of the ranking bodies.

According to HEPI’s Director of Policy and Advocacy and co-author of the report, Rachel Hewitt, the graduate gender gap is still persistent, showing that female graduates are still less paid compared to male graduates.

“There are some areas of particular concern, such as the large pay gap between male and female graduates of Russell Group universities. However, even among groups where the gap is smaller, such as among graduates of post-92 universities, the gender pay gap persists,” she said.

Last month, another report published by the Higher Education Policy Institute which is UK’s only independent think tank dedicated to higher education had shown that England would need over 350,000 higher education places by 2035 so it can keep up with the demand.

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