Female Students

The gender pay gap starts at university. Female graduates choose salaries up to £4000 lower than male graduates. Research conducted by career organisation Bright Network   – shows that on average, female graduates request lower starting salaries than their male counterparts when looking to start their career – and have done so for at least the last ten years.

According to a study of 5,058 university students conducted by Bright Network, within their first five years of working, female graduates expect to reach a salary of £42,400. Meanwhile, male graduates expect to earn a salary more than £10,000 higher by the time they've reached the same point in their careers, estimating an average figure of £54,200.

The figures from the government’s database of graduate employment and earnings reveal that pay for men continues to outstrip that of women after finishing their undergraduate degrees, and widened each year between 2014 and 2017.

In the 2014-15 fiscal year, the gap in median earnings stood at £2,900, with men earning an average of £27,000 five years after graduation and women on £24,100. But the following year the pay gap widened to £3,300 and then to £3,600 in 2016-17, with men’s earnings increasing by more than double those of women.

The data also shows that men earn more than women at all stages in the decade after graduation, with male earnings 8% higher after one year, 15% after five years and 31% higher at 10 years after graduation.

Women in the labour market 

This report, produced by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), examines women in the labour market. It looks at employment rates, occupations, skill levels of jobs, and pay for women - and compares this with men. It also considers women with and without children.

The report reveals:

  • Men tend to work in the professional occupations associated with higher levels of pay than women.
  • Men make up the majority of workers in the top 10% of earners for all employees (but the gap is lower for those under 30).
  • Men have consistently higher employment rates than women above the age of 22.
  • Men with children are more likely to work than those without - the picture is the opposite for women.
  • That there is an employment rate gap between mothers in a couple, and lone mothers; (smaller for those with older children).
  • Women dominate employment within caring and leisure occupations.
  • The number of women working within managerial roles slightly is higher than the EU average.
  • Rising employment for women and falling employment for men over 40 years.

Download the full report:  

Women in Labour Market ONS


Gender and positive action recruitment initiatives:

Many employers take part in positive action recruitment initiatives in order to address gender-related underrepresentation in their industries  TARGETjobs runs a number of these events on behalf of employers, including:

See also:

Women in Scientific Careers

This report from the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee investigates factors behind the lack of gender diversity in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and women's lack of progression in STEM careers, and looks at how to address these issues. 

Download the full report: Women in scientific careers (PDF 508 KB)

Improving Diversity in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths)

This report brings together data and research up to 2014 to build a picture of diversity in STEM, from education to the workforce. The findings show that it is still the case that women, (as well as disabled people and those from ethnic minorities or socially-disadvantaged group) are consistently under-represented, particularly at senior levels, in science and engineering.

The report recommends tangible actions for the government and the sector. Some strong themes emerge, including the need for:

  • government to show leadership in tackling diversity
  • a fully equipped and diverse teaching workforce
  • better reporting and public monitoring of diversity data

Author(s): Campaign for Science and Engineering (CaSE) 2014

Download the full report: Improving Diversity in STEM (PDF 1011KB)

"Female students urged to apply for top graduate schemes"

Female students are less likely to aim for top graduate jobs but more likely to land them if they apply, says the Association of Graduate Recruiters.

Its survey of leading employers found that, while 54% of students are women, they make up just 47% of graduate scheme applicants.

But they took 49% of the posts, the responses by 170 employers showed.

"Many women don't apply for the top schemes when they should," said AGR chief executive Stephen Isherwood.

Improving the gender diversity of graduate programmes is largely a challenge of attracting women in the first place, says the report.

Once they apply women are more likely to be hired, according to the survey sent to AGR members in April this year.

You can read the rest of this BBC article here



Last modified: 
Thursday, February 27, 2020 - 16:27