November 20, 2012

AAUW RELEASES REPORT ON GENDER GAP IN WAGES

by Art Gutman Ph.D., Professor, Florida Institute of Technology

The report is based on data from college graduates in 2007 and 2008 that were employed full time a year after their graduation. The report may be viewed at:

http://www.aauw.org/GraduatetoaPayGap/upload/AAUWGraduatingtoaPayGapReport.pdf

The report reveals that overall, women earned 82% of what the men earned. After controlling for relevant covariates such as hours worked, occupation, college major, employment sector, and others, the pay gap difference shrunk to roughly 7%. The report then offers two factors for the remaining gap.

Not surprisingly, the first factor is discrimination against females. Support for this factor comes from increasing numbers of pay discrimination claims and monetary awards based on these claims won by the EEOC. The second factor is willingness and ability to negotiate salary. The report suggests that “men are more likely than women to negotiate their salaries”, and that at least in part, “this difference may reflect women’s awareness that employers are likely to view negotiations by men more favorably than negotiations by women.”

The report is quite detailed, and offers several reasons why the pay gap is important, not the least of which is that since these are college grads just entering the workforce, and many are likely to have student loans, female grads as a result of the gap face a difficult hurdle in paying off these loans.

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