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Research reveals gender gap in careers for Uni students

Category: Industry News, Research, career, gender gap

Research reveals gender gap in careers for Uni students

A study by Oxford University's Careers Service has found a 'gender gap' in the jobs male and female university graduates go on to attain within six months of leaving.

Male and female students also show differences in how they think about their career potential – and this can be seen even in sixth-form pupils.

A study of students at 7 universities including Oxford and Cambridge found that female graduates who go into work are 9 percentage points less likely to be in a graduate-level job than their male counterpoints: 90% of male leavers secured graduate-level jobs compared with 81% of female leavers six months after graduation. The gender disparity extended to pay, with the average male leaver earning £25,000 six months after graduating compared with £21,000 for females.

The analysis used data on the destination of leavers compiled by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) in 2013, and looked at almost 17,000 students who were surveyed six months after leaving. The study looked at a wide range of possible factors contributing to students' career destinations and salaries, and found gender to be the strongest determining factor. It used Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) data taken from Cambridge University, Imperial University, The London School of Economics, UCL, Durham University and the University of Bristol in addition to Oxford.

Additional research into the attitudes of Oxford students about their career goals and prospects pointed to a gender divide in students' career attitudes that may explain some of the differences in job outcomes. Male undergraduates tended to start earlier in their university education in both thinking about and acting on their career goals. Women were more likely to concentrate on their academic and extracurricular activities. And when it came time to start applying for jobs, male undergraduates showed more confidence in their job prospects and were less hesitant about taking the initiative to approach recruiters or potential employers.

Jonathan Black, director of Oxford University's Careers Service, who commissioned the research, says: 'We set out to explore the possible drivers of securing a graduate-level job, and considered gender, ethnicity, social background, degree class, subject, and disability. We were pleased to find that social background appears to have no significant effect on securing a graduate-level job: a finding that we should celebrate. Indeed, of all the factors we explored, gender has the biggest effect, with a statistically significant lower proportion of women than men achieving a graduate level job within six months.

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VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please email [email protected] for more information.

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