Female graduates expect to earn up to 14% less than male counterparts - study

The research found the difference in salary expectations was greatest among law graduates.
Female graduates expect to earn up to 14% less than male counterparts - study

The salaries women expect to earn in their first jobs following graduation are far lower than that of their male counterparts across various sectors, a study has found.

The research carried out by Universum found male law graduates expect to receive a salary 14 per cent above the estimate given by female graduates, while an 8 per cent disparity was noted among graduates of business, economics and natural sciences.

As reported by The Irish Times, the research included over 10,000 Irish students between October 2020-March 2021 from business, IT, health, engineering, natural sciences, humanities and law courses.

The research found that although law graduates had the highest expected starting salary overall (€38,702), the women's estimates averaged €35,730 while the men's averaged €41,758. It was also noted that this disparity has grown in the past year, increasing from 12 per cent when the study was last conducted.

The findings come as larger Irish employers will soon be obligated to publish gender salary data after legislation on the matter was passed.

Universum UK and Ireland business director Steve Ward described the disparity in salary expectations among men and woman as "very concerning", adding the gap "only becomes more pronounced as the two genders climb the career ladder and progress through the corporate world".

"The new gender pay legislation is a welcome step towards addressing this disparity. However, we would encourage employers to get ahead of this legislation and look at what steps they can take in the near future to ensure they’re part of the solution, and not part of the problem," Mr Ward said.

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