Gender Pay Gaps Worsen Over Time

April 23, 2007 ( - A year after women graduate from college, they are already make less than men - a gap that only gets worse over the next decade, according to new research.

A news release from the American Association of University Women Educational Foundation said its study found that women only bring in 80% of what men earn a year after college and that the shortfall worsens to 69% after 10 years.

“If a woman and a man make the same choices, will they receive the same pay?” the study asked, according to a Reuters news report. “The answer is no. These unexplained gaps are evidence of discrimination, which remains a serious problem for women in the workforce.”

Specifically, about one-quarter of the pay gap is attributable to gender – 5% one year after graduation and 12% 10 years after graduation, it said.

One year out of college, men and women should arguably be the least likely to show a gender pay gap, the study said, since they both are similarly situated in terms of bring parents and in terms of professional experience.

Among factors found to make a difference in pay, the choice of fields of concentration in college were significant, the study found. Female students tended to study areas with lower pay, such as education, health and psychology, while male students dominated higher-paying fields such as engineering, mathematics and physical sciences, it said.

In education, women earn 95% as much as their male colleagues , while in math, women earn 76% as much as men earn, the study showed, according to Reuters.

The study, entitled “Behind the Pay Gap,” used data from the U.S. Department of Education.It analyzed some 9,000 college graduates from 1992-93 and more than 10,000 from 1999-2000.

More information about the study findings is here .