On payday, it's still a man's world

Study: Females earn 80 percent of what men earn one year after graduating from college; falls to 69 percent 10 years later.


NEW YORK (Reuters) -- A dramatic pay gap emerges between women and men in America the year after they graduate from college and widens over the ensuing decade, according to research released on Monday.

One year out of college, women working full time earn 80 percent of what men earn, according to the study by the American Association of University Women Educational Foundation, based in Washington D.C.

QuizlaunchTake the quiz
Do you deserve a raise? Before asking, know your strengths and weaknesses.

1. If you left the company, how easy or hard would it be for the company to replace you?
Easy      Hard


This quiz is adapted from Are You Paid What You're Worth?, by Michael O'Malley (Broadway Books, $15).

Ten years later, women earn 69 percent as much as men earn, it said.

Even as the study accounted for such factors as the number of hours worked, occupations or parenthood, the gap persisted, researchers said.

"If a woman and a man make the same choices, will they receive the same pay?" the study asked. "The answer is no.

"These unexplained gaps are evidence of discrimination, which remains a serious problem for women in the work force."

Specifically, about one-quarter of the pay gap is attributable to gender - 5 percent one year after graduation and 12 percent 10 years after graduation, it said.

One year out of college, men and women should arguably be the least likely to show a gender pay gap, the study said, since neither tend to be parents yet and they enter the work force without significant experience.

"It surprised me that it was already apparent one year out of college, and that it widens over the first 10 years," Catherine Hill, AAUW director of research, told Reuters.

The choice of fields of concentration in college was a significant factor found to make a difference in pay, the study found.

Female students tended to study areas with lower pay, such as education, health and psychology, while male students dominated higher-paying fields such as engineering, mathematics and physical sciences, it said.

Even so, one year after graduation, a pay gap turned up between women and men who studied the same fields.

In education, women earn 95 percent as much as their male colleagues earn, while in math, women earn 76 percent as much as men earn, the study showed.

While in college, the study showed, women outperformed men academically, and their grade point averages were higher in every college major.

Parenthood affected men and women in vividly different ways. The study showed mothers more likely than fathers, or other women, to work part time or take leaves.

Among women who graduated from college in 1992-93, more than one-fifth of mothers were out of the work force a decade later, and another 17 percent were working part time, it said.

In the same class, less than 2 percent of fathers were out of the work force in 2003, and less than 2 percent were working part time, it said.

The study, entitled "Behind the Pay Gap," used data from the U.S. Department of Education. It analyzed some 9,000 college graduates from 1992-93 and more than 10,000 from 1999-2000.  Top of page

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.