As universities across the country welcome students back for the academic year, a new analysis of the Agency’s 2015-16 dataset shows that male graduates are paid more than women across the majority of industries.
According to the data, when a female business student dons a cap and gown and heads out into the workforce - equally as qualified as her male counterparts – she will receive 7.0% less pay. And she is not alone.
A graduate salary gender pay gap exists in favour of men across 17 out of 19 fields of study and across nine out of 13 industries in our dataset.
The male-dominated study fields of Architecture and Building Environment, and Science and Mathematics had the largest differences in starting salaries with men earning on average 15.3% and 10.0% more than women.
This trend continues in the female-dominated study area of Health Services and support with a gender pay gap of 9.1% in favour of men, even though 72.7% of students in enrolled in the study area are women.
The persistent graduate gender pay gaps across industries exist at a time when women’s participation in higher education is expanding in Australia. In 2001, women represented 55.9% of enrolled domestic students across all universities or other institutions. By 2015, this had risen to 57.4%.
Women also outnumber men in award course completion rates representing 59.5% of all completed undergraduate and postgraduate higher degree courses.
The Agency’s dataset classifies ‘graduates’ as any person employed in a formal graduate program. This means that ‘graduates’ does not refer to all individuals who have recently graduated from a tertiary education institution.
For more information, download Higher education enrolments and graduate labour market statistics.