The pay gap is getting worse for the poor, POC and women

Drinks on Rupert! (Picture: Getty)

The pay gap between male and female graduates in the UK has widened over the last three years.

According to new research, a student’s future earnings are linked to both their family background and school.

The stats, which come from the government’s database of graduate employment and earnings reveal that pay for men continues to be higher than pay for women after finishing an undergraduate degree, and on top of that, the gap widened each year between 2014 and 2017.

In 2014/15 the median earning gap stood at £2,900, with men earning an average of £27,000 five years after they graduated, whereas women earned £24,100.

The following year the gap widened to £3,300 and then in 2016/17 it got even wide, going up to £3,600.

So basically things are actually getting worse, not better.

The data also shows that men earn more than women at all stages in the decade after graduation, with male earnings 8% higher after one year, 15% after five years and 31% higher at 10 years after graduation.

However the numbers don’t tell a very nuanced story. The gap is partly caused by the fact that more women take on part-time work (often to balance having a baby and a career) or staying on at university.

Fewer men go to university, which can skew the results by improving their average pay.

Similarly, the market value of different degree choices creates a pay gap.

Courses like economics, medicine and dentistry (more popular among men) were among the best paid, while humanities and creative arts and design (more popular among women)  were among the lowest.

The figures also suggest that the trajectory of a graduate’s earnings are set by not just their gender but also their social background and family circumstances, as well as their exam results before going onto higher education.

Your gender isn’t the only thing which informs how much you earn, though.

Pupils who were on free school meals while at school earned £3,000 a year less than those not on free school meals five years after graduation.

Ethnicity was an even bigger factor than gender, with black Caribbean, Pakistani and Bangladeshi graduates all earning less than white, Chinese or Indian ethnicity graduates.

Pakistani graduates earn a median £6,000 a year less than white graduates a decade after finishing their undergraduate degrees.

Your attainment while at school is also a contributing factor.

Students with the best school results went on to earn the highest amounts after graduation, and their earnings grew at a faster rate than their peers. People who got three As or A*s at A-level earned £5,000 more a year after graduation than those with B, C, and lower grades, and over £7,000 more than those with lower than three Cs.

So in conclusion if you’d like to be rich, probably best that you’re a white man with a rich family, great grades and a degree in economics. Jump to it.

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