Male graduates outearn female postgraduates

Male graduates and postgraduates outearn women across all industries, according to new statistics.

Graduate, University


Young graduate, postgraduate and non-graduate men each earned an average of £3,500 more in 2018 than young females of the same qualification group, according to new figures.

The figures released in the Graduate Labour Market Statistics 2018 report by the Department for Education show that men across all qualification groups had higher median salaries than their female counterparts and that women with postgraduate degrees earned £1,500 less on average than men with undergraduate degrees.

The difference in earnings was most pronounced for graduates, where men earned £9,500 more than females, and was smallest between non-graduates at £6,500. The DfE says the gaps, to some extent, reflect differences in working patterns between the two genders.

The earnings gaps between male and female non-graduates has been relatively stable, but faster salary growth for men in recent years has resulted in a bigger gap opening up with graduate females, with the difference widening by £1,500 since 2016. The median salary increase for graduate and postgraduate men is £3,000 since 2015, but graduate and postgraduate females are still recovering from salary falls in 2017.

Men employed in transport and communication had the highest working-age median salary (£45,000), while women employed in distribution, hotels and restaurants had the lowest salaries at £22,000. Across all industries, men had higher median salaries than females in 2018. The gap was largest for working-age graduates in the manufacturing sector, at £12,000. It was smallest for young graduates in the distribution, hotels and restaurants sector, at £1,500. The report says this “provides some evidence that gender pay differences widen on average with increasing amounts of labour market experience in higher-paying industries”.

The figures also show that black graduates across all age groups were the lowest paid in 2018, with median earnings of £25,500 compared with the median of £35,000 for white graduates.

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