Surveys conducted in the last couple of years have shown that the number of women enrolling at universities is on the rise. Since 1999 there has been an increase by 64% in the number of female graduates.
However, the gender pay gap is still present. The latest research shows that a woman in Australia earns about 83 cents for every $1 a man earns. Figures estimate that the gender pay gap in Australia is almost 18% and that men earn roughly $27,000 more a year than women. Although the cause of the gender pay gap can sometimes simply be the differences between workers, the cause can also be workplace discrimination and gender bias.
When MBA graduates start their careers the wage difference isn’t very big, but it exists. As time goes by, the gap widens, and Bloomberg shows us that for those who graduated in 2007/2009, by 2014 women with an MBA earned 80% of what their male colleagues did. In addition to having lower salaries, women manage fewer people than men. Even some of the top MBA employers such as Google, pay women less.
Another survey shows us that women tend to have more difficulties when trying to advance in their careers, find mentors, sponsorship from management or get a job in line positions. More men have indicated that it was easy for them to find mentors. In addition, about one-third of surveyed women MBA graduates and 46% of African-American women MBAs found business school culture to be overly aggressive and competitive, along with lack of female role models (56%), incompatibility of work/life balance (47%), lack of confidence in math skills (45%) and lack of encouragement by employer (42%).
The jobs that women most commonly pursue after getting an MBA are: marketing, advertising, management and consulting, finance, consumer goods, government and public service, media and PR, health care, fashion etc.
30% of the world’s businesses are run by women, but only 5% of the large ones are run by women. If we focus on leading positions, female CEOs (chief executives), for example, have far lower salaries than male CEOs. Furthermore, only 5% of CEOs are female. Australian Financial Review found out that there are only 3 women in the top paid CEOs, and no women among the first 50 on the list.
Australian Bureau of Statistics says that women are more likely to have a lack of confidence in their abilities, are less likely to put their hands up for promotion and tend to feel uncomfortable with self-promotion in general. Men feel more confident even if they don’t tick all of the boxes necessary for the role. ABS continues that those qualities that hold women back from putting themselves forward for higher roles, such as being cautious and risk adverse, may make them better in those roles. Citibank executive Janine Copelin says that female executives ought to break a “self-imposed glass ceiling” in order to achieve business goals they want to.
A research conducted by Pew Research Center showed that women in leading business positions were rated as being particularly good at being honest and ethical, being fair and in mentoring employees. Organisation with three or more women in leadership roles had high scores in every aspect of organisational effectiveness. The study had also shown that female leaders have good people skills – they display people development, are efficient in communication, and they also give new insights into female customer base. Moreover, when both genders are present at a meeting, business leaders have stated that they (meetings) become more efficient and results-oriented.