Press Releases: Gender pay gap starts at university

Press Releases January 2014

Female graduates choose salaries up to 1438GBP lower than male graduates. Gap in gender pay demands widens 44% in a decade.

New research from - the largest independent graduate jobs board in the UK - shows that on average, female graduates request lower starting salaries than their male counterparts when looking to start their career - and have done so for at least the last ten years. analysed the salaries requested by a total of 498,696 graduate job seekers over the course of 2003 to 2013. The specialist jobs board found that the average starting salary currently requested by female graduate job seekers is £1,438 lower than male graduates. This gap between the genders has remained relatively consistent, although became more pronounced in 2011. The current average requested salary for male graduates is £20,219, and for female graduates £18,781, a gap that is 44 per cent wider than in 2003 when female graduates' average requested starting salary was £17,507 which was £999 lower than the £18,506 average requested by males.'s analysis suggests that the differential comes from more males than females choosing careers in industry sectors that pay higher salaries. Women have a greater propensity towards careers in media, marketing and public relations; HR, recruitment and training; and buying, merchandising, customer service and retail. Male graduates are more likely to prefer higher paying careers in banking, finance and insurance; engineering; management; computing and IT, digital media and telecommunications; accounting and sales.

Much has and is being done within both education and employment to encourage women to have broader career aspirations. In general we're still seeing more men than women go into sectors that pay higher salaries. Women must ensure they are not undervaluing themselves when searching for a career. There are many employers looking for career-driven women in sectors primarily populated by men, such as banking, engineering, telecoms, IT and sales. These recruiters often advertise on the female focused In particular, many graduate employers want women to enter the male dominated sales career which offers good basic salaries as well as generous commission. Graduates as a whole seem to shun such roles, picturing a career as a telephone cold caller. The reality is very different for good graduates who secure roles as strategic sales people within large organisations.

The advice for both male and female graduates is that although setting realistic salary expectations is a way to stand out to recruiters, the most important thing is the quality of the graduate - their academic achievements, their extra curricular activities and their work experience.

Methodology assessed "ideal" starting salary and job sector preferences stated by 498,696 graduate job seekers looking for careers via from 2003 to 2013. The data on average starting salaries is taken from