Report shows gender gap in pay doubled last year

THE gap between what women university graduates and the male counterparts earn more than doubled in 2012, rising from $2000 to $5000 during last year.

New figures released on Friday by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency revealed the pay for male graduates rose $3000 during the year, while women graduates' pay packets did not change.

The current average graduate gender pay gap across all occupations was 9.1%, with industries including architecture, building and dentistry recording a gap of more than 15% in 2012.

Agency research executive manager Dr Carla Harris said the figures were disturbing, especially given that women make up the majority of university graduates.

"The lesson here is that the gender pay gap continues to have a very real impact on the bank balance of young women starting their careers," Dr Harris said.

"I'm certain that any female school-leaver contemplating a career in dentistry, would be outraged knowing she can expect to earn more than $14,000 less than a man in her first year on the job."

However, out of 23 occupations, there were seven where female graduates earned slightly more than men.

Female computer scientists, earth scientists, pharmacists and engineers were among those who earned slightly more than their male counterparts in 2012.

Only three occupational categories had no gender pay gap in starting salaries: education, humanities and medicine.

Top five industries where men earned more than women in 2012:

Architecture and building: Men: $52,000; Women: $43,000; Pay gap: 17.3%

Dentistry: Men: $92,000; Women: $77,600; Pay gap: 15.7%

Optometry: Men: $82,000; Women: $75,000; Pay gap: 8.5%

Law: Men: $55,000; Women: $50,700; Pay gap: 7.8%

Economics, business: Men: $50,000; Women: $47,000; Pay Gap: 6%

SOURCE: Workplace Gender Equality Agency, GradStats Report, January 2013.


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