Men don’t just get higher wages – they expect them too: Male students anticipate being paid 9.7 per cent MORE than females in their first job after university, study finds
- Researchers asked students about their aspirations and wage expectations
- They found both men and women expected to earn more than actual salaries
- However, men expected to earn more after graduation than the women
- When given the true earning potential the men increased their expected wage
- In contrast the women given their true wage would reduce their expectations
Male students expect they will be paid about 9.7 per cent more than their female counterparts when they start their first job after university, researchers discovered.
Both male and female students have optimistic wage expectations when studying, at compared to the actual average graduate salaries, but men expect to earn more.
The gender wage gap is a well-established phenomenon in the labour market, and the team from the University of Fribourg in Switzerland wanted to find out why.
They surveyed 865 students at universities in Switzerland about workplaces they hope to work in after graduation, expected wage and personal information.
Researchers found that when given information about actual wages they would be able to earn women decreased their expectations, but men increased them.
Male students expect they will be paid about 9.7 per cent more than their female counterparts when they start their first job after university, researchers discovered. Stock image
The same team found that within a year of graduation the men expected to be earning 9.7 more than what the female students expected to be earning.
This was when calculated without any other factors such as career choice or lifestyle prospects such as a break for children.
They don’t give any explanation over why expectations at university seem to have an impact on actual wage differences in the workplace, just that it happens.
Some evidence of a gender wage gape can be explained through job paths held by one gender or another, the team explained, and that job being better remunerated.
Their survey, of students at multiple universities, also covered general demographic information, the type of job they hope to enter after graduation, their expected wage after they graduate and three years later, as well as hopes for a future family.
They also asked students whether they would work full or part time if they had children, where they wanted to live and for some of the students, showed them a bar graph with actual monthly gross income information for their chosen sector.
When comparing expected wages from the students surveyed to averages of actual wages from comparable graduates, the authors found that both men and women were optimistic about their expected wages: on average.
Male students’ expected wages exceeded the actual wages of similar graduates by 13 per cent, whereas female students’ expected wages exceeded the actual wages of similar graduates by 11.2 per cent.
Interestingly, for those students given the extra bar graph of gross income information, male students actually increased their average expected wages.
Both male and female students have optimistic wage expectations when studying, at compared to the actual average graduate salaries, but men expect to earn more. Stock image
In contrast to this female students given the same actual wage information tended to decrease their average expected wages to be closer to the real figure.
They found a statistically significant direct, unexplained effect of gender on wage expectations remains for most cases under several statistical models considered.
The authors add: “Males typically forecast higher future earnings than females.
‘We find that a broad set of personal and professional controls – collected in an own survey of two Swiss institutions of higher education – largely accounts for those gender differences in expectations across most empirical specifications.’
The findings have been published in the journal PLOS ONE.
WHAT IS THE GENDER PAY GAP?
On average, men working in the UK earn between 9 per cent more than women in the same profession, numbers released by the Office for National Statistics show.
But in many professions the gulf is far larger – with female bank managers earning on average £39,995 a year – over a quarter (28.6 per cent) less than men on £58,070.
The data reveals that public sector staff are still on an average higher wage than those in the private sector – taking home £599 a week compared to £532.
Male farmers take home more than 20 per cent more than women – earning on average £10,59 an hour rather than £8.39 an hour given to females.
The overwhelming majority of professions tend to pay more to men than women.
And research conducted in October 2017 showed that just three jobs do not have a gender pay gap at all – bar staff, medical and dental technicians, and waiters.
From April 2018, all employers with more than 250 staff have been required by law to publish their gender pay gap online.
Figures also show that average weekly earnings for full-time employees in the UK were £550, up 2.2 per cent from £539 in 2016 and the highest rise since 2008.
TUC (Trade Union Congress) comments say women are essentially working for free for the first 67 days of the year.
Justine Greening, women and equalities minister, said: ‘Eliminating the gender pay gap is key to building a stronger economy where everyone plays by the same rules.
‘It is simply good business sense to recognise the enormous potential of women and to take action to nurture and progress female talent.’
She added: ‘I’m now calling on employers across the country to get on with publishing their gender pay gap. They have until 31st March to do so.
‘By shining a light on where there are gaps, employers can take action and make sure that we are harnessing the talents and skills of men and women.’