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Women graduates’ pay tops men’s in 29 fields

Women recent college graduates earn as much as or more than their male counterparts in 29 fields, ranging from engineering to art history, according to researchers at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

This reverse wage gap means women earned 16 percent more than men in social services and 10 percent more in industrial engineering jobs held by graduates between the ages of 22 and 27, the research showed.

The difference in pay between genders — women overall earn only 78 cents for every dollar earned by men — is also far smaller for newly minted college graduates. This group of women earns 97 cents for each dollar earned by men, the study showed.

By the time they reach age 35 to 45, though, any advantage women had evaporates. Mid-career men earn 15 percent more than their female peers.

In all 29 areas where women start out with higher pay, “the wage premium that young women enjoy in these majors completely disappears, and males earn a more substantial premium in nearly every major,” the researchers said.

The reasons for the shifting gaps aren’t clear, the report said. They could be a result of discrimination, in either direction, or because of career interruptions among women who stop working when they have children, according to the study.

 

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