The Gender Pay Gap: Men Still Out-Earn Women, at All Job Levels

B-school alumni salary data reveals new insights into gender compensation discrepancies.

Apr 12, 2016

B-School Outcomes

Worried woman Earning an MBA or other graduate business degree has many of the same payoffs and benefits for women as it does for men—high employment rates, job satisfaction, and career advancement. Compensation is another matter. 

An examination of salary data in the United States for women and men indicates that business school alumnae are not immune from the gender pay gap. As the figure shows, the median salary for female business school graduates in the United States is lower compared with median salaries for men across all job levels. At the entry-level, US b-school alumnae earn 85 cents to the dollar compared with men. That gap widens at the executive level to 80 cents to the dollar.

Gender pay gap

On a bright note, women who are considering earning an MBA can expect the same post-degree salary bump as their male classmates. Analysis of salary history for business school alumni shows that the median expected increase between pre-degree and post-degree salary is identical for men and women, with a median US$20,000 increase overall. In fact, this initial salary lift in post-degree salaries was seen across all graduate business program formats, from full-time MBAs and professional MBAs to specialized business masters. 

It is possible, as the findings suggest, that the gender pay gap may be attributed in part to disparities in salary prior to enrollment in business school, which is also supported by the median pre-degree salary reported by business school alumni. 

These and other findings from GMAC’s recent alumni survey can be found in the 2016 GMAC Alumni Perspectives Survey Report