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Gender pay gap starts early

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The gender pay gap starts right at the beginning of women’s careers, according to statistics from the Department for Education.

While women are more likely to be in work, or studying for a degree than men, they earn around £1,600 a year less than their male colleagues a year after leaving university and the gap grows over time.

The experimental statistics showed that in 2015/16, 87.6% of UK women who gained their first degree from English universities and colleges were in further study, employment or both a year after graduating, compared to 84.6% of men.

A year after graduating, women were earning a typical salary of £18,300, compared to £19,900 to men. After 10 years, this has widened to £27,100 for women and £35,100 for men. This challenges the assumption that the gender pay gap only starts when women have children.

“At one, three, five and 10 years after graduation, male earnings exceed female earnings,” DfE statisticians said. “The difference between male and female median earnings also increases with years after graduation – male earnings were 9% larger than female earnings one year after graduation, 11% larger at three years after graduation, 13% larger five years after graduation and 30% larger at 10 years after graduation.”

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