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Starting Salaries for Female College Grads 17% Less Than Male College Grads. How Can This Be? Isn’t It 2011?

Ever heard this regarding the discrepancy regarding starting salaries for male and female college graduates? “Well of course the typical starting salaries of females is lower because they are more likely to choose careers with lower salaries.” This great article from our colleagues at the National Association of Colleges and Employers emphasizes that this “age old” explanation of this starting salary discrepancy is not true. Even for the same degrees, starting salaries for female grads tend to be lower than their male counterparts with the exception of engineering majors. Woo hoo for the female engineering grads!

So, why does this discrepancy exist in 2011? More importantly, what advice and guidance should we give recent female grads to help them negotiate salaries that rival the starting salaries of their male counterparts?

Also, as HR professionals, we are typically involved in some part of the hiring process. What gives? What could we do to better ensure equitable starting salaries for all females?

Andy Brantley

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  • Kevin Price

    I found an interesting interview (about a book) that talks about this very issue. They assert that women do not ask for what they want as often as men do. If this is true, then we must do a better job of preparing women to ask and ensure our processes allow for that opportunity. The link to the interview is http://www.womendontask.com/questions.html