Female graduates are massively underestimating their value
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Even though more young women are going to university than young men in the UK, over a third of young women graduates expect a starting graduate salary of £20,000, which is £10,000 under the annual median UK graduate wage. In addition to this, only 17% of young women would expect to be earning between £25,000 and £30,000 once they graduate. The research, carried out by graduate career resource Milkround, has led to the discussion of a potential “lead floor” phenomenon affecting young women graduating in the UK. Many people already talk about the existence of the glass ceiling – the invisible barriers stopping women from advancing in some careers – but this “lead floor” shows that young women may be preventing themselves from setting their sights too high by massively undervaluing themselves and their ability to succeed in their chosen career. This is highlighted by the fact that only 18% of men who graduate would be aiming for a starting salary of £20,000, while this figure is what many young women would expect. The Department Of Education has carried out research into graduate employment and wages from different UK universities, which has revealed that women earn on average £6,500 less than their male co-workers five years into their careers. Though some people still deny it, awareness of the issue of the gender pay gap is growing. Milkround’s research reveals yet another challenge that young women must overcome. Francesca Parkinson from Milkround said: "It was a surprise for us to see that so many female graduates do not realise their worth when starting their careers, a fact that may contribute to a difference in pay.” It is clear that society needs to do more to help empower young women graduating university, giving them greater confidence and the ability to demand as much as men when entering their careers.