Pay Gap Between Genders in Workforce –

Women new to the workforce make only 82% of what their male counterparts do, just one year after graduating college, according to findings from a new report by the American Association of University Women (AAUW).

Graduating to a Pay Gap examines the pay discrepancy that exists between the genders, as well as contributing factors to the gap. The report also looks to explain the reason for pay gap.

Using data from 2009—the most recent year for which data was available—report authors found women one year out of college working full time were paid $35,296 while their male peers were paid $42,918. After accounting for variables such as number of hours worked, occupation, college major, and employment factors, women still earned seven percent less than men. This leaves almost one-third of the pay gap that cannot be explained, which report authors suggest could be partly due to gender discrimination.

An effect of the pay gap, report authors found, is student loan repayment because women’s fewer earnings make their student loan payments take up a bigger portion of their salaries. In 2009, among full-time workers repaying their loans one year after graduation, 20% of women and 15% of men were paying more than 15% of their earnings toward student loan debt.

Additional findings revealed that among business majors, women earned slightly more than $38,000 while men earned slightly more than $45,000. Also, women were more likely to work as teachers, social services professionals, and nurses while men were more likely to work in business and management, computer and physical science and engineering fields – jobs which primarily employ men tend to pay more than jobs which primarily employ women.

The report also found that female teachers earned just 89% of what male teachers did, even though women were more likely than men to be teachers.

Though report authors expressed the pay gap cannot be eliminated by women alone, they suggested that women choose their college majors carefully, learn how to negotiate their salaries, research their intended occupations, and seek out union jobs—in efforts to help address the issue.

The report includes data for students who earned bachelor’s degrees in 2007-08, a year after they graduated college.

Follow Valerie Jones on Twitter @ValerieJonesCMN