Gender pay gap for graduate

It has been encouraging in recent times to read more and more about how the gender pay gap has apparently been shrinking, with women’s salaries slowly but surely catching up with men’s. In fact last year the gender pay gap was at a historic low, at 9.4% difference for full-time employees and 19.1% for the working population as a whole, according to the Office for National Statistics. However recent data crowd sourced elsewhere has shown that factoring in of bonuses into the equation can have a marked impact on the figures. The data has shown that female MBA graduates receive way less in terms of bonuses; five years after graduating from university — male MBA graduates have been taking home bonuses almost twice the size of females. Out of 49,000 MBA graduates in the study, the average bonus for female graduates was £27,000 while bonuses for their male counterparts averaged £50,000 — quite a difference.

So with this crowd sourced bonus income factored into the overall equation, the gender gap remains sadly a significant one for most graduates. Overall, average female graduate salaries are 17% less than those of males, five years after graduation. It initially seems a little better for MBA students, for whom the core salary gap is 13% overall, but when those significant bonus differences are factored in, female MBA graduates earn just 74% of what their male counterparts do.

This trend is backed up by another study; a Women in Financial Institutions (WiFi) report based on incomes of 300,000 personnel discovered that the average bonus for financial services staff equated to 16% of basic salary for women, but a significantly larger 23% of basic salary for men.

Eurostat, the statistics agency, believes that the UK has the 6th largest gender pay gap in the E.U. Across the whole of Europe females earned 16.4% less.

As we’ve seen before, which university you graduated from often makes a significant difference to your income potential — although not always. So how does that factor impact upon the gender pay gap for graduates? Well, at one extreme, graduates of University College London showed a 21% shortfall for women’s earnings while at the other end of the scale women graduating from the London School of Economics earned only 3% less than male peers within 5 years of graduation. The difference for Oxford University graduates was 14%, Imperial College 11% and Cambridge University 19%, with males earning more in all cases.

So if you’re embarking upon a university course, whether an undergraduate degree or a postgraduate degree, it is worth checking the data available online if potential earnings are a significant factor in your course and subject decision-making process. They probably should be now that courses cost thousands and student debt is rising significantly. is a rich source of data but time needs to be taken to make complete sense of it all and to get the full picture. As we’ve seen above, sometimes delving a little deeper into the data can show significant factors which were not perhaps obvious on a cursory glance.

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