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'They Don't Negotiate': Why Young Women College Graduates Are Still Paid Less Than Men Even during the most robust of economic times, women are less inclined to negotiate. In fact, according to Sara Laschever, co-author of "Women Don't Ask: Negotiation and the Gender Divide," 20 percent of women say they never negotiate at all. And in the current recession, which has made many job seekers feel grateful for any work they can find, even a part-time toehold can feel like a victory.Based on several interviews with women under the age of 30, nearly all reported feeling almost guilty about asking for more money than was initially being offered.The problem with this reluctance to ask for more is that women are still paid less than men. And as new research released last month reveals, young women often get the raw end of the deal.A May study by the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University polled nearly 600 young men and women who graduated from college between 2006 and 2010. The authors found that young men are not only out-earning young women, they're doing so by an average of more than $5,000 per year. Male participants reported first-year job earnings averaging $33,150, while young women earned about $28,000.Another report released in May, this one by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, indicated that new female college graduates are earning 17 percent less than their male counterparts.The National Partnership for Women & Families reports that, among full-time workers in the population as a whole, women still earn only 77 cents for every dollar their male counterparts make."Historically, men out-earn women across all sorts of occupations," says Carl E. Van Horn, a professor of public policy at Rutgers and a co-author of the study. "All of our data confirms that's still going on with young people who have graduated from college in the last five years. I'm just disappointed that the disparity is still so large."
In past years, many scholars have blamed the overall gender wage gap on historic pay inequalities still affecting older women making less than their male peers. It was hoped that once those women exited the workforce, the gap might narrow. But last month's findings show that not to be the case.There are data to suggest that the gender gap in first-year earnings -- and often, as a result, lifelong earnings -- is a consequence of women choosing less lucrative fields than men.A study released in May by Anthony P. Carnevale, who directs the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University, suggests that women are self-selecting lower-paying professions by choosing college majors that simply don't pay much.Utilizing previously unreported data from the U.S. Census Bureau's 2009 American Community Survey, Carnevale and his co-authors sampled 3 million college graduates between the ages of 25 and 64 who supplied their majors and subsequent earnings."For women, in only three of the 171 majors -- physiology, information science and visual and performing arts -- did they out-earn their male counterparts," says Carnevale. And though women attend college in greater numbers than men and subsequently out-graduate them, the highest earning majors are dominated by men.According to the study, petroleum engineering majors, for instance, are 100 percent male-dominated, whereas women account for 97 percent of early childhood education majors. (Carnevale reports a sampling error of 3 percent.)The average petroleum engineer's yearly salary is around $120,000. The average preschool teacher makes about $35,000.Even Carnevale, who has studied this issue for decades, was surprised by the degree to which women and men were separated according to fields of interest and subsequent earning potential.But the wage gap exists even between men and women in the same field, which suggests that women's reluctance to negotiate may be to blame.
JUST EXTRA POLISH. I DO SOME WORK WITH EXCELL SO I KEEP THE CAPS LOCK ON :-P
I tend not to negotiate, but I guess it depends on the situation. If offered a job, I'd be more interested in negotiating for more time off than more money. Was this taken into account?
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