Gender Pay Gap Widens Among B-School Graduates

Gender Pay Gap WidensNew Bloomberg Businessweek research shows that women make $0.05 less than men do for every dollar in their first post-MBA jobs. A decade ago, the BW article states, this gender wage gap was virtually non-existent. Below are some of the recent findings:

  • In the general workforce, women earn only 82% of male earnings.
  • 2012 women graduates from Stanford made $0.79 on the male dollar.
  • At Wharton they earned $0.86 on the dollar. In 2002 women were earning 99% of what men earned.
  • In the b-school world in 2002, women earned $0.98 cents to the male dollar. In 2004, that percentage dropped to 94.1. It went up and down over the next few years, bottoming out at 93.2% in 2012.
  • Some women MBA graduates are making more than men, like at Texas McCombs where women earned 102% of male earnings in 2012.

According to the BW article:

The growing pay disparity may be partly explained by shifts in the career choices women MBAs are making today, compared to those they made a decade ago, according to a Bloomberg Businessweek analysis of 114 MBA programs surveyed in 2012 and 88 in 2002. One such shift involves finance jobs. Fewer MBA graduates of either gender are pursuing finance careers this year, when pay cuts and headcount reductions have made Wall Street jobs less attractive to some. But women have fled finance in substantially larger numbers, driving down average female salaries.

In 2012, 16% of women went into finance positions; in 2002, that number was as high as 29%. In 2012, 2% of women took high-paying investment banking positions; in 2002, 6% took similar jobs.

One factor that may play into the widening gender pay gap may include age – according to the Graduate Management Admission Council, the average age of women GMAT test takers is a year younger than men test takers, which likely means that they have less work experience, and thus, earn lower wages.

Another study shows that men generally have higher GPAs which would account for different pay wages.

The article concludes by stating that the greater concern here isn’t the slight pay gap during that first year post-MBA, but how the gap widens 10 years down the line, to about 50%.


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