First Class Degrees Not Good for Women?

The Centre for Economic Research (based at London School of Economics) has carried out some research into the respective gender value of degrees.

Woman Grdaute Stck Xchge omar francMen with a first class degree can expect to earn 6% more over the course of a working life than someone with a 2:1, even though the difference in marks may just be a few points. Employers, it seems use a first class degree as an indicator much more than they did a few years back when hiring staff.

Which should be good news all round for those with first class degrees. Except these stats don’t apply to women. No discernible difference was seen with women who had first class degrees.

The researchers confess themselves puzzled by this gender split and wonder if it’s because the men were likely to ask for more money in the first place, or to be given a higher salary on recruitment.

From my experience of working one to one with women I’d say both those things are true. I’ve worked with several women who have found out that their male colleagues started higher up the pay scale than they did, although this fact was not broadcast for obvious reasons. In my coaching I  encourage women to have the self belief that they are worth more and ask for a higher salary than the one offered; in many cases they get it.

In the 21st century it’s an unacceptable fact that men still earn more than women and one that we all need to address. Unconscious bias? Lack of confidence? Penalty for child bearing years? Whatever the cause it’s not right and needs to change!

Thinking of expanding your training business? Are you passionate about empowering women? I can help you! To find out how, click here.

Photo via Stock Exchange


Posted on May 31st, 2013 by

One Response to “First Class Degrees Not Good for Women?”

  1. Tammy says:

    Hi Jane, great article. I have a few questions that I am sure some women are asking themselves right now. What about when hiring managers ask for the salary range during the interview and then use salary as a criteria for narrowing down selection. Afterwards, when offered salary within the range, should women still push for the higher end of the salary range?

    There is also a case where for some companies, the policy states that raises are given once a year after performance review. Should women ask for a bigger raise than what is offered? Should they still ask for a raise throughout the year even though that is not the policy? If a raise is not possible should they push for increased benefits instead? Some managers might consider this being pushy or that women over-value themselves.

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