Graduate gender pay gaps persist

University students across the country are heading into a new academic year as the latest graduate labour market statistics confirm that Australian female graduates continue to be paid less across the majority of fields than male graduates.

WGEA analysis of the Quality Indicators for Learning and Technology dataset shows that while gender imbalance in higher education enrolments and course completions is in favour of women, graduate gender pay gaps in favour of men exist in 17 out of 19 fields of study and across nine out of 13 industries.

The study fields with the highest gender pay gaps continue to be Architecture and Building Environment and Science and Mathematics with men's undergraduate median starting salaries averaging 15.3% and 10.0% more than women.

However, it’s not just the male-dominated industries with a gender pay gap favouring men. In Health Services, which is 72.7% female, the pay gap is 9.1%.

Consistent graduate gender pay gaps come at a time when Australian women’s participation in higher education is expanding, with 57.5% of enrolled domestic students being female.

Women also outnumber men in award course completion rates, representing 59.5% of all completed undergraduate and postgraduate higher degree courses.

For more information, download the Higher education enrolments and graduate labour market statisticsfact sheet.