Female MBA Grads Earn $11,000 Less Than Male Peers, Study Finds
(Bloomberg) -- The gender pay gap for MBA graduates starts right out of school and only gets wider from there.
Female business school graduates make around $11,000 less than men with the same degree, a survey released Thursday of 1,055 alumni from MBA schools from nearly 60 elite programs around the world. A decade out, that gap widens to more than $60,000.
Women in the U.S. face a stubborn gender pay gap much of which can be attributed to them to working in lower paid industries and jobs. Less than 10% of S&P 500 chief executive officers are women, for example, and they remain underrepresented at a vast majority of business schools in the U.S., which mint some of the country’s highest earners. On average, women hold just 40% of all seats at 84 schools, according to a recent Bloomberg Businessweek survey. At 27 schools they make up less than one-third of the class.
But even women that seek out high paying industries and jobs face a pay gap, the findings from the Forté Foundation, a non-profit focused on women’s advancement and gender equity in business and business schools, suggest. Forté found post-MBA men, on average, earn $29,700 more than similarly credentialed women. Minority women get even smaller pay checks, taking home, on average, around $52,000 less than men, the data show.
Forté Foundation chief executive Elissa Sangster said the disparities may be due, in part, to men entering MBA programs with more years of experience, on average, setting them up for different career paths and opportunities. But she also attributes some of the gap to the well-documented bias women face once in their jobs.
“I think sometimes women become disenchanted,” she said.
Current female MBA students surveyed by Forté also indicated they had less ambitious career aspirations. Men are nearly three times more likely to want a CEO job, for example.
“There's plenty that women can continue to do to be more aggressive or ambitious about their career path,” Sangster said. “But I think that companies have to make sure that there is fertile ground for these women to move through into these leadership positions.”
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