By Glassdoor, Special for USDR
Glassdoor, one of the world’s fastest growing job sites, today revealed how men and women’s college majors contribute to the average gender pay gap in the early stages of careers. Through a unique dataset of more than 46,900 resumes1 shared on Glassdoor, The Pipeline Problem: How College Majors Contribute to the Gender Pay Gap, shows the impact college majors have on career paths and ultimately gender pay gaps within the first five years after graduation.
This new study follows a 2016 Glassdoor Economic Research study, Demystifying the Gender Pay Gap, which found that the sorting of men and women into different jobs is the largest contributor to the “unadjusted” pay gap.2 This study shows how sorting into different college majors contributes to the “pipeline problem” — women are less represented in majors that lead to high-paying positions. For example, nine of the 10 highest paying majors we examined are male dominated. By contrast, six of the 10 lowest paying majors are female dominated. Further, even when men and women hold the same degree, women sort into lower-paying jobs and men into higher-paying jobs.
Among the 50 majors examined, the study found that, on average, college-educated workers in the first five years of their careers face an 11.5 percent unadjusted gender pay gap; meaning women, on average, earn about $0.88 for every $1.00 men earn. Men in this sample earned a median base pay of $56,957 per year, while women earned $50,426 per year. That pay gap is well below the overall 24.1 percent unadjusted pay gap in the U.S. reported in the 2016 study, however the data shows the pay gap widens with age.3
“You would expect new grads to find a level playing field when it comes to pay, but they generally don’t. Glassdoor’s analysis shows an 11.5 percent average pay gap among new grads in the early years of their careers,” said Dr. Andrew Chamberlain, Glassdoor chief economist. “When we isolate by major, pay gaps remain because men and women are sorting into different jobs after graduating – a clear sign of societal pressures and gender norms at play in the career paths of young workers.”
With Same Degree, Men and Women Sort Into Different Jobs With Different Pay
Even with the same degree, men and women often sort into different jobs — that pay differently — after graduation, resulting in a gender pay gap that persists in the first five years of their careers. For example, the major leading to the largest average pay gap is Healthcare Administration (22 percent pay gap), and the three most common jobs men take after college are implementation consultant, quality specialist and data consultant. For women, the three most common jobs after earning the same degree are lower-paying positions such as administrative assistant, customer care representative and intern.
Beyond Healthcare Administration, Mathematics (18 percent pay gap) and Biology (13 percent pay gap) lead to the largest pay gaps favoring men. The majors resulting in the biggest reverse pay gaps (where women earn more than men) are Architecture (-14 percent pay gap), Music (-10.1 percent pay gap) and Social Work (-8.4 percent pay gap). For a full list of the pay gaps by college majors, see the Glassdoor Blog.
“This new research gives us a chance to reflect on the origin of the pipeline problem that pushes men and women into different career paths. We’ve long known the impact of education on these pathways, but we can now see significant pay gaps emerging from the same majors – and that’s a major problem,” said Dawn Lyon, Glassdoor vice president of corporate affairs and chief equal pay advocate. “We need to better educate college graduates about the power of negotiation and educate employers on their entry-level recruiting and hiring to afford men and women the same opportunities coming out of school.”
The full study can be found on Glassdoor Economic Research, and includes information about the gender divide by major, most common jobs by major, the most and least specialized college majors, what majors lead to which jobs by gender, and how each major stacks up in terms of earning potential by gender.
For job seekers and employees: Tools like Know Your Worth™ by Glassdoor help people gain insights to better understand if they are being paid fairly. The personal market values generated help people determine if they should attempt to negotiate pay and/or explore better paying jobs based on current market hiring data and other personal worth factors like education, relevant experience, location, etc.
Glassdoor is the world’s most transparent job and recruiting marketplace that is changing how people search for jobs and how companies recruit top talent. Glassdoor combines job listings with anonymous reviews, ratings and salary data to help people find a job and company they love. This level of transparency with company insights helps employers attract the right candidates for their company and culture. Glassdoor offers employers job advertising, job posting and employer branding solutions in addition to robust talent analytics. Launched in 2008, Glassdoor has job listings and data for approximately 700,000 employers in 190 countries and is available on iOS and Android platforms. For labor market trends and analysis, visit Glassdoor Economic Research. For career advice and job-related news and tips, visit the Glassdoor Blog.
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1 All names and other personally identifying information were removed from resumes before access by our researchers. No personally identifying information of any kind was used in this research.
2 The unadjusted pay gap is defined as the average pay gap comparing all women and all men in the sample.
3 Demystifying the Gender Pay Gap, Dr. Andrew Chamberlain, March 2016