Report: Women Already Paid Less Than Men One Year Out of College: News of the Day

Average Annual Earnings One Year after College Graduation, by Undergraduate Major and Gender. source: www.aauw.org
Report: Women Already Paid Less Than Men One Year Out of College: News of the Day

While women are graduating college in greater numbers than men, they continue to earn less, according to an American Association of University of Women study released today. In the first year out of school, women only made 82 percent of what their male colleagues were paid. The AAUW study also found that women who just graduated from college still make significantly less than a man even when taking their choices of majors and professions into account. From The Washington Post:

Even when men and women had the same majors, there were often gaps in pay. The researchers found that female business majors earned an average of slightly more than $38,000, while men earned just over $45,000. In engineering, technology, computer science and social sciences fields, researchers found that women made between 77 percent and 88 percent of what their male colleagues were paid.

The researchers found that this pay gap had wide-ranging economic impacts, including the ability to repay student loans after graduating. As a result, women pay a higher proportion of their salaries to debt payments.

The study concludes that certain employment practices still cause an unfair difference in pay, even between similarly skilled and educated men and women. That’s why Democrats in Congress and President Obama have worked to ensure equal pay for equal work and to ensure that graduates can manageably repay their student loans . We believe that equal pay for equal work is about basic fairness: Paying women less than men for doing the same work is not just immoral, it’s bad economics.

In 2007, when the Supreme Court shut the doors of justice on Lilly Ledbetter, Democrats moved quickly to ensure that women could seek justice for the pay discrimination they all too often experience. But the Ledbetter law only addressed one hurdle for women who are seeking justice for illegal unequal pay.

As this new study highlights, the wage gap is real and it is devastating to our nation’s economy families trying to make ends meet. That’s why Democrats in Congress and President Obama have been pushing to strengthen the Equal Pay Act in order to close loopholes in the law that allow some employers to pay a woman less for just being a woman. Unfortunately, The Paycheck Fairness Act has been blocked by Senate and House Republicans over the last few years.