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Does Gender Affect Income Depending On Your Degree? The UK’s Graduate Gender Pay Gap

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It’s a widely talked about topic in just about every industry; the gender pay gap. More and more research is highlighting just how much of a problem this is, with women often taking home a considerable amount less than males in the same position.

But does this issue affect universities? Could your degree determine whether you earn thousands less than someone of the opposite gender in the same situation? 

Debut has conducted research into the state of the gender pay gap with regards to university graduates and the courses which offer the smallest – and largest – pay gaps based on gender.

Which degree subjects have the largest gender pay gaps? 

Do certain degrees pay you more or less based on your gender? The research revealed that this can definitely be the case, and some of the gaps are so shockingly large that they could easily equate to another person’s salary.

Graduates from medicine and dentistry are found to have the largest gap with regards to average income when based on gender. Male graduates can expect to earn an average of £63,600 ten years after graduation. Females graduating from the same degrees have an average salary of £43,200. With a difference of £20,400, the gender pay gap is very apparent in this industry in particular  – and could equate to a year’s income for some individuals in other industries.

Salaries of graduates from combined and general studies are also subjected to a vast difference in income based on gender. Men graduating from degrees of this kind can expect to earn £32,300 a year, with women taking home £20,900. Even though they would be working in the same industries, that is still a massive £11,400 deficit between male and female incomes. 

Veterinary science is also an area in which average salaries vary between men and women. Ten years after graduation, men in this field can earn £38,900 on average, whereas females in the same field only earn an average yearly salary of £29,500 – a difference of £9,400. 

Which degree subjects have the smallest gender pay gaps?

Not all degree subjects have such a vast gap between male and female average salaries, although the research revealed that no degree subject reported women earning more than men.

Graduates who studied communication and media were found to have the smallest disparity between male and female incomes. Males can be expected to take home £28,700, and the average female salary ten years after graduation is £25,400 – a difference of only £3,000

When it comes to health and social care, the gap widens slightly, which some people may find shocking as the health and social care industry is often painted as female-dominated. However, women still earn less than men in this sector, with an average income of £26,100 as opposed to the £30,300 that men can expect to earn.

English studies graduates, along with religious studies and philosophy graduates, also have a relatively low pay gap in comparison to the rest of the degrees in the research. Both degree subjects see women paid £4,400 less than men.

Which Universities Have the largest gender pay gap?

As well as revealing which degree subjects have the largest pay gaps, the research detailed which universities have the biggest variance between female and male graduates as a whole, rather than just what degree they completed.

The way in which this was researched meant that the results reflect the average salaries of individuals once they reach the age of 29 rather than ten years after graduation. This is simply due to how universities collect their data. 

It was revealed that Stirling University in Scotland had the largest disparity between male and female average salaries. Men who graduated from the university can expect to earn an average of £37,700, whereas women could only expect to earn £25,200 – a massive disparity of £12,500.

The Royal Agricultural College also reported a large jump between the average salaries of male and females who graduated from their establishment. With a huge difference of £11,100, the male average income of a graduate is £40,300, whereas the female average is only £29,200.

With a slightly smaller difference than the Royal Agricultural College, the University of Warwick revealed a difference of £11,000 between their male and female graduates at the age of 29. Men can be expected to earn £50,400, whereas females were reported to earn £39,400.

Which universities have the smallest gender pay gap

Perhaps surprisingly, when looking at universities as a whole, four establishments reported that women who graduated from them earned more than men. 

These included the Royal Veterinary College where women earn £4,200 more than men and the University of West London where females take home £2,000 more. In addition, the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama reported women taking home £1,700 more than their male fellows and Ravensbourne University, where the difference is only £600 – with women earning more.

However, looking at which universities boasted the smallest pay gap overall between their male and female graduates, the Arts University Bournemouth reported to have the smallest gender pay gap; there was only £400 difference between the male and female average income at age 29.

Average salaries of males and females aren’t all that different at Norwich University of the Arts. With only a £500 difference, the university places second with relation to the smallest gender pay gap within their graduates. Male graduates can expect to earn £22,200 and females a slightly lower average salary of £21,700.

The University of the Arts, London also boasts a low disparity. Males who graduate from this establishment earn £28,500 on average, whereas women can expect £1,000 less with £27,500.

Does The Gender Pay Gap Widen Over Time?

Looking at the results of the study, it can be concluded that as time goes on, the gender pay gap does indeed widen, with a larger disparity appearing when the time since graduation increases.

The research revealed that just a single year after graduating university, a man can expect to take home an average salary of £20,900 whereas a female graduate will take home £19,300. This variance increases drastically by 56% at three years past graduation, and even further by five and ten years; increasing the pay gap by 125% and 425% respectively.

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