Senior Partnerships Adviser
Graduates in male dominated industries continue to be better remunerated than graduates in female dominated fields, a report shows.
Graduate Careers Australia’s (GCA) report An analysis of the gender wage gap in the Australian labour market, 2013, found that overall males’ starting salaries were 9.4% higher than female starting salaries. The researchers attribute part of this gap to the fact that employees in male-dominated fields such as engineering are more highly remunerated.
But even when field of education, personal, enrolment and occupational characteristics of male and female graduates were controlled for, overall males’ starting salaries were still 4.4% higher than those for females. Part of this may be attributable to factors such as bias.
It is widely accepted that gendered factors such as stereotypes that are socialised at a young age, contribute to the occupational and educational choices of women and men. Therefore, there is a strong case for ensuring girls are given more information about career choices and opportunities at school with encouragement to consider careers in what have traditionally been thought of as ‘male roles’. These often require the study of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (often referred to as STEM subjects).
Earlier this month, the Australian Financial Review published research showing a national decline in the number of girls studying maths and science in high school. Just 6.6% of girls sat for advanced mathematics in 2013, half the rate for boys and a 23% decline since 2004. In New South Wales only 1.5% of girls undertake advanced maths, physics and chemistry.