New Data Exposes Gender and Ethnicity Graduate Opportunity Gap


New data collected by Graduate Outcomes, which analyses what students are doing 15 months after graduating, has revealed discrepancies in opportunities in terms of gender and ethnicity.

According to the survey covering 360,000 students who graduated from university in 2017/18, 62% of white graduates were in full-time employment 15 months after graduating compared to just 51% of black graduates, and BAME students were significantly more likely to be unemployed.

Research by the Resolution Foundation has found that the proportion of BAME people of working-age with a university education in the UK has increased significantly since the 1990s, with the numbers of Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi people with degrees trebling to 50% 30% and 25% respectively.  However, Bangladeshi and Pakistani graduates are still around 12% less likely to be employed than white graduates.

The Foundation has concluded that BAME people face undeniable ‘employment and pay penalties’ despite the high number of graduates among ethnic minority populations.

The Graduate Outcomes survey also reveals that male graduates were paid on average 10% more than female graduates, with over three quarters of men in the £27,000-and-under salary bracket 15 months after graduation compared to 59% of women.

Double the number of men are able to enter the highest graduate pay bracket soon after graduating, with 6% of men earning over £39,000 within 15 months compared to only 3% of women, suggesting it is harder for women to enter top-paying professions based on their degree qualifications.

Joe Levenson of the Young Women’s Trust blames this discrepancy on ‘career stereotypes which are leaving young women locked out of better-paid careers’, thus continuing to reinforce the gender pay gap half a century after the passing of the Equal Pay Act in 1970.

Rachel Hewitt, director of policy and advocacy at the Higher Education Policy Institute, has said that ‘the data demonstrate clearly the benefits that higher education can bring to individuals’ lives, as well as the wider labour market. However, they also clearly show there are not equal opportunities for all graduates.’


Features Editor

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