Bridey Heing
August 08, 2015 7:53 am

The gender wage gap has been getting a lot of attention lately, as it should. The fact that women, on average, make 78 cents on every dollar a man makes is insane, and the fact that women of color make even less on average than men is entirely unacceptable. But while the gender wage gap is real and an issue, a new report by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York found that in some fields, women are making more than men early on in their careers.

For recent graduates, the study found that the wage gap is way, way smaller. Women straight out of college are making about 97 cents for every dollar their male counterparts make, and in some common college majors, women leave school ready to make more than men do. Here’s the list of those majors:

  1. Social services
  2. Treatment therapy
  3. Industrial engineering
  4. Art history
  5. Aerospace engineering
  6. Construction services
  7. Business analytics
  8. Mechanical engineering
  9. Earth sciences
  10. Nutrition sciences
  11. Civil engineering
  12. Philosophy
  13. General education
  14. Electrical engineering
  15. Chemical engineering

Engineering and the sciences make up a big chunk of the list, which might not come as a surprise given the emphasis on increasing diversity in the field. Recruiters have an incentive for making sure women get well-paid positions out of school, and that might be why women are making bank in those fields.

But the “early on in their careers” is the catch. The study also found that by the time women reach the middle of their careers, the gender wage gap returns with a vengeance. As Cosmo points out, social services is a good example. Women make 16% more than men in the same field initially, but eventually men make 10% more.

Why? Well, Bloomberg suggests that managers don’t have the same incentive to make sure women are being paid more, and that their own biases can take over once recruiters aren’t involved. But regardless of reasoning, the fact that a strong start can still lead to pay stagnation is no less miserable than the wage gap more broadly.

Isn’t is time we all just got paid the same for the same work?

(Image via iStockPhoto.)

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