Educational Pathways Drive Frances Gender Pay Gap What Our Research Shows

Educational Pathways Drive Frances Gender Pay Gap  What Our Research Shows

Although women are more qualified than men, they are usually paid less than their male colleagues when they start their careers. In 2017, women with higher education and vocational training in OECD countries earned on average 70% of men's wages.

Most research in this area has understandably focused on issues related to careers, professional contributions, or parenting. A recent study by the French statistics agency Ince found that 68% of the gender pay gap in jobs of equal value can be explained by the fact that women and men rarely hold the same positions.

But the choice of different occupations (sometimes referred to as "occupational division") can be explained entirely by the specializations acquired in university and vocational education. According to the study, the latter appears to be very gender-specific and almost unbalanced between men and women. For example, only 30% of new students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) are women, compared to 77% in health and human services.

Our research, based on the extensive public database in France, shows that what we study contributes significantly to the pronounced inequalities in the labor market.

Limited data

As early as 1984, American researchers Thomas Diamond and Paul Andrisani suggested including educational choices in equations that analyze the income gap between women and men in the United States. However, this was easier said than done. In fact, students tend to gradually specialize in their field, and the masters who follow them can go by thousands of different names. For example, there are strong contradictions between social law, commercial law and criminal law.

This lack of data means that the relationship between educational choices and employment has not been explored. However, tens of thousands of Masters graduates are interviewed every year after their entry into the professional world by the French Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation. This is the data we used in our research.

it seems balanced

Gender-specific educational choices appear to hinder income equality at an early stage. Three years after graduation, female graduates earned lower wages than men and were more likely to be working temporary contracts and part-time jobs. They also held leadership positions less often.

The proportion of women in each sector appears to be related to wage levels. MENESR-DGESIP-SIES; Data, Survey of Employment Opportunities for 2013 Graduates, 30 Months After Graduation, from

Furthermore, the gender pay gap is related to the number of women in each field. Average earnings in male-dominated occupations are still higher than in female-dominated groups. Half of women in male-dominated disciplines earn more than €2,000 a month, compared to only a quarter in female-dominated disciplines.

We were also surprised by the complex composition of many subjects. Take management science as an example: Despite its popularity among men and women, this subject still has significant differences in pay. On average, about €640 per month separates the graduates from the Personal (mostly women) and Financial (mostly men) direction.

Two branches of state politics

A master's degree alone accounts for two-thirds of the gap between men and women in obtaining full-time employment and more than one-third of the gap in access to prestigious positions. Most female students specialize in fields where there are fewer employment opportunities, such as public service, NGOs and the social sector.

What are the benefits of public order? We can reduce income inequality in two ways. First, targeting the direct labor market by reassessing workplaces that are dominated by women. Second: Work in the university and college system.

Innovative research on this topic suggests courses of action based primarily on quotas or models. The work we are doing with economist Ann Boring aims to document how the pathways that shape students' and students' learning decisions emerge. Our goal now is to reconstruct the entire university journey to understand the stages that generate the gender distribution of majors at the most detailed level.

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