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Male graduates still paid more than females

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There is still a large pay gap between male and female graduates, according to a study published today.

Researchers for the Higher Education Careers Services Unit (HECSU) analysed how much students who applied to higher education in 2006, earned last year.

It said it found the results "strikingly uneven", with the take-home pay of female graduates in full-time work ranging from £15,000 and £23,999, whereas the research showed men were more likely to earn salaries of £24,000 or more.

The researchers analysed data from a longitudinal study of 17,000 recent graduates called Futuretrack.

Jane Artess, director of research at HECSU said despite having the same number of UCAS entry tariff points, men are "commanding" higher salaries than women.

Artess added: "Since it would be unlawful for employers to pay males and females doing the same job differently, something else must be happening to female graduate earnings.

"If we look at wages by sector, the male lead is persistent in the public and private sectors, in graduate workplaces and also in graduate and non-graduate job roles. The only area where female pay is equal to males is in the not-for-profit sector.

"One rather more heartening finding is that satisfaction with career tends improves with higher salaries.

"This is particularly so for women who report earnings of £40 - 49,000 and £60,000+, who were demonstrably more satisfied with their careers than their high earning male peers.

"However, relatively few graduates, and even fewer females, achieve salaries at these high levels."

A government spokeswoman said that although the gender gap was closing, "it is still too large".

"We have already made good progress towards ending pay discrimination," she said.

"Measures in the Equality Act to make pay secrecy clauses unlawful have already been implemented."

Charles Levy, senior economist at the Work Foundation, said the report showed many of the best-paid sectors continued to be male dominated.

"These are the people that you least expect to affected by the gender gap. These are the best and the brightest hopes for the future. It is the most difficult work environment for a generation and this is something we should be very wary about," he said.