Despite having the same qualifications as men, recent women graduates earn less, suggests a study
Female graduates earn thousands of pounds less than their male counterparts, according to a report.
The pay gap persists even between men and women from the same types of university who studied the same subjects, suggests the study.
The Higher Education Careers Services Unit (Hecsu) analysed how much students who applied to higher education in 2006, earned last year.
Lead researcher Jane Artess said pay distribution was “strikingly uneven”.
This was despite laws designed to ensure equal access to jobs and pay, said Ms Artess,
The researchers analysed data from a longitudinal study of recent graduates called Futuretrack. They found that the take-home pay of female graduates in full-time work ranged between £15,000 and £23,999.
Men were more likely to take home £24,000 and above, they found.
The analysis did not include part-time workers or the unemployed.
The data, published in the Hecsu journal Graduate Market Trends, suggested men earned more than women across all degree subject areas, even if more women took those subjects than men.
“When graduate earnings are examined by subject, it is clear that women earned less than men who studied the same subject,” says the article.
The authors add this is the case across all subject areas, “even where women’s participation is greater than men’s”.
“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”, said Ms Artess.
“It is difficult to see why this is, for example, female graduates of media-related subjects are no more or less numerous than their male counterparts yet their earnings are typically lower.
“Of the Futuretrack respondents, there were fewer men than women in law, yet there is an even greater male lead on earnings.
“Since it would be unlawful for employers to pay males and females doing the same job differently, something else must be happening to female graduate earnings.
“If we look at wages by sector, the male lead is persistent in the public and private sectors, in graduate workplaces and also in graduate and non-graduate job roles.
“The only area where female pay is equal to males is in the not-for-profit sector,” said Ms Artess.