In the UK, women earn on average 82p for every pound that men earn, and in 2019, 78 percent of the biggest companies in Britain reported a gender pay gap. In short, it's a very real situation. But a new report has revealed that alarmingly, the gender pay gap begins right after university for women. And in addition to this, the report also showed that Black graduates are more likely to struggle in the labour market.
Data collected by universities from graduates entering the workforce revealed that on average, men earn 10 percent more than women 15 months after leaving university. The pay gap also applies even when graduates have similar qualifications.
The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) published their findings, writing that while the majority of first degree graduates were in full time employment in the UK, earning between £24k-£27k, men were much more likely to be in a higher pay bracket past £30k.
Twenty-eight percent of men with a first class degree earned more than £30k within 15 months of graduating, while only 16 percent of women did. And in jobs in the next pay bracket, earning more than £39k, double the men than women were represented. In fact, 6 percent of men earned more than £39k, while only 3 percent of women did.
This is not the only alarming finding of HESA's report. The study found that while more than 60 percent of white students were in full-time employment more than a year after they graduated, only half of Black graduates were. Only three percent of white graduates were unemployed in the data, compared to 6 percent of Black graduates, and 7 percent of Asian graduates.
Speaking about this disparity, Chris Millward, of the Office for Students, the higher education regulator for England,
“There is clearly more still to do to ensure that these benefits [getting a meaningful job following University studies] are felt equally across all student groups. It is concerning that black, Asian and minority ethnic graduates were more likely to be unemployed than their white peers, and that women are over-represented in lower pay bands."
In 2019, it was also revealed that the ethnicity pay gap between BAME men and white men who do similar work is growing.