statigr.am/jennyrosalie89Harvard’s male seniors are expecting to earn bigger paychecks than their female classmates, according to a 2013 class survey released by the school newspaper.
According to the Harvard Crimson, which surveyed its graduating class:
Men are much more likely to appear in the highest pay brackets than women: Of the students who expect to earn more than $110,000 in their first year of work, three-quarters are male. Of those who will earn $90,000 to $110,000, men represent nearly two thirds. And those numbers come from a pool of respondents which included more women than men, suggesting that the true tallies are in fact slightly more weighted in men’s favour.
In a recent column for the Atlantic, Eleanor Barkhorn argues that this survey is further proof that the gender gap exists. She writes that industry choice accounts for some of the gap, but even within industries, men still expect to earn more.
But Harvard’s methodology is faulty, according to Payscale Economist Katie Bardardo.
“They are only looking at men and women in the same industry, which still leaves out job title, skill set, etc,” says Bardardo. “Men and women in finance are in very different jobs. Men are portfolio managers; women hold more administrative and accounting roles. Of course there’s a wide gap by industry because it’s not accounting for one of the largest compensenable factors, which is job title.”
So, even though these are Harvard students, male and female grads may be more likely to go after different types of jobs within the same industry — for example, an engineer job at a tech startup versus its marketing manager position.
This oversight is also why the BLS wage data — which indicates women make around 81 cents to the dollar —is also incorrect, says Bardardo. According to new Payscale data, the gender gap is actually much, much smaller than most people think. It’s most prominent for men and women in executive roles.
And as for the gaps among salaried workers with the same job title? It comes down to hours worked, says Bardardo: “Women lean out of their careers. Success that [salaried workers have] is dependent upon hours worked. There’s studies show that men put in more hours than women.”
So then the question for Harvard’s Class of 2013 shouldn’t only be, what do you expect to earn in salary, but what type of person do you plan to marry?
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