Widening Salary Gap for Female Graduates


According to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, latest gender data suggests that the pay gap between female and male university graduates last year more than doubled – increasing from $2000 to $5000 a year.

The 2012 GradStats report produced by Graduate Careers Australia allegedly shows median full-time employment starting salaries for men  are $55,000 (up from $52,000 in 2011), compared to $50,000 for female graduates (no change from 2011). The current graduate gender pay gap across all occupations stands at 9.1%.

Recent school leavers may be dismayed as they consider their futures while waiting for university offers for 2013 places.

Research Executive Manager at the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, Dr Carla Harris said ‘It is very disturbing that men’s starting salaries have increased over the past year but those of women have not, especially given that women make up the majority of university graduates.

“The lesson here is that the gender pay gap continues to have a very real impact on the bank balance of young women starting their careers.”

The gender pay gap for graduates was most noticeable in occupational areas such as: architecture and building (17.3%, $9,000 difference); dentistry (15.7%, $14,400 difference); optometry (8.5%, $7,000 difference) and law (7.8%, $4,300 difference). All traditionally male dominated fields.

“I’m certain that any female school leaver contemplating a career in dentistry, would be outraged knowing she can expect to earn more than $14,000 less than a man in her first year on the job,” Dr Harris said.

Amongst the results, there are seven out of 23 occupations where female graduates earn a little more than their male counterparts. Female computer scientists, earth scientists, pharmacists and engineers are amongst those who earn more than male graduates.

Just three occupational categories had no gender pay gap at all in starting salaries. These were education, humanities and medicine.

Did the WGEA jump the gun?

In reply, the Graduate Skills Council state that the report findings were misrepresented and the report in fact demonstrates that there has been no change in the gender pay gap – it remains at 3%. However, the GCA did say “I think it’s really unlikely there is any responsible graduate recruiter who is paying a different salary to males and females”.

A deeper look into the data is on the cards to assess the real story here.


Congratulations Park Guen-hye: South Korean President

In an historic first, South Koreans elected their first female president, Park Geun-hye, leader of the conservative New Frontier Party. It was a close election.

Ms Park is no stranger to the Presidency. Her father took power in the 60’s and industrialised the nation before his assassination. Her mother was also killed for political reasons. With that lineage, Mrs Park is courageous and brave to take on the role. Moreso, given that Korea is considered a very traditional male-dominated country. Already North Korea has made disparaging remarks about her ascendency.

We salute Mrs Park and look forward to her promise to be a politician who honours her promise.

It’s still tough for women at the top: Men’s Networks Reign

MP900438566Around 2/3rds of professional women in Australia still believe they are limited in advancing into executive roles because of a ‘boys club’ mentality.

Executive Women Australia (EWA) just released their latest survey which shows women believe male-dominated referral networks are rife, and are significant barriers to continued success.

“Because of the fact the other people in the [executive] roles are men, they are usually referring men,” stated EWA director Tara Cheesman. Executive positions on average become vacant every three years , and leaders tend to look within or to their networks to fill roles.  Arguing the point, “When the boss comes and says ‘Do you know somebody great for this job?’ they think ‘If I can do this job, he can do it. If I get along with this person, he will fit in too’,” Cheesman said.

Cheesman doesn’t believe men are deliberately sidelining women. It’s more that men with male friends in the same field often help each other with their careers. “A lot of men don’t see themselves as the person who’s going to help their female friends in their career,” she said.

Based on the opinions of some 500 EWA members, women also believe men are better self-promoters than women. Many ASX 500 employers haven’t had female executives previously as demonstrated by the fact that of today’s  ASX 500 companies, only one third have a female executive at board level.

Women in Pharma – Are They?

Just came across a great article in Forbes about that state of play for women in the pharmaceutical industry.

“In the end there’s a small cohort of men who have to be comfortable working with you” in order for you to make it to the very top in this industry.

I recall a very attractive young female recruiter who used to work in the pharmaceutical space – many of the sales staff were female because most of their clients were male. Surprise.

Some women make it through the channels but no women have yet made it to the top in any major pharma corporation. You do have a better chance in smaller outfits.

The article is well worth reading.