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ERIC Number: ED546786
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 12
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Graduating to a Pay Gap: The Earnings of Women and Men One Year after College Graduation. Executive Summary and Recommendations
American Association of University Women
Fifty years after the passage of the Equal Pay Act of 1963, women continue to be paid less than men in nearly every occupation. Because pay is a fundamental part of everyday life, enabling individuals to support themselves and their families, the pay gap evokes passionate debate. Although the data confirming the persistence of the pay gap are indisputable, the reasons behind the gap remain the subject of controversy. Are women paid less because they make different choices than men do? Does discrimination play a role? What other issues might be involved? "Graduating to a Pay Gap" explores the pay gap between male and female college graduates working full time one year after graduation. One may expect that the pay gap between men and women in this group of workers of similar age, education, and family responsibilities to be small or nonexistent, but in 2009--the most recent year for which data are available--women one year out of college who were working full time were paid, on average, just 82 percent of what their male peers were paid. After control for hours, occupation, college major, employment sector, and other factors associated with pay, the pay gap shrinks but does not disappear. About one-third of the gap cannot be explained by any of the factors commonly understood to affect earnings, indicating that other factors that are more difficult to identify--and likely more difficult to measure--contribute to the pay gap. Women experience the consequences of the pay gap from their very first paycheck to their very last Social Security check. Fifty years after the passage of the Equal Pay Act of 1963, it is surprising that women continue to be paid less than men are paid, even when they make the same choices. Making equal pay for women and men a reality will require action on the part of employers, public policy makers, and individuals. [For the full report, "Graduating to a Pay Gap: The Earnings of Women and Men One Year after College Graduation," see ED536572.]
American Association of University Women. 1111 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-326-2289; Tel: 202-728-7602; Fax: 202-463-7169; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: American Association of University Women
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Equal Pay Act 1963